Friday, April 3, 2020

Brachetto: The Sweet, Red Bubbly of Piedmont

Italy produces some of the world’s greatest sparkling wines including wines such as Franciacorta, Trento DOC and Prosecco to name a few.  The presence of Italian sparkling wines in the US market continues to rise and the appreciation for these wines has increased from being a celebratory wine to more of an everyday enjoyment.   

Our Italian Food, Wine & Travel group today is focusing on Brachetto d’Acqui from the Piedmont region produced in a number of styles to be discussed.  This week I do not have a particular wine to share as I’ve been home for the last 3 weeks and didn’t prepare in advance, but I’m very familiar with these wines and have written about them in the past so am doing some knowledge sharing today. 

The appellation ~ Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG 
The  Brachetto d’Acqui appellation is found within the largest sub-region of Piedmont, Monferrato, and  more specifically Monferrato Astigiano.  This sub-region includes the provinces of Asti and Alessandria and is located close to the Ligurian Apennines in the south just south of the Po River.  In 2014 Monferrato was also granted the status of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Brachetto d’Acqui was originally granted the DOC status in 1969 until it was promoted to a DOCG in 1996.  In order to be labeled a Brachetto d’Acqui the wine must be produced by at least 97% of the Brachetto grape.  It is grown around the ancient Roman town of Acqui Terme in the hills just north of town.  Acqui Terme is known for its thermal spas.  Relaxing in bubbly while drinking bubbly sounds like the perfect pairing to me!   
These wines gained popularity by Arturo Bersano whom used the martinotti or charmat method to produce these wines.  The Martinotti method undergoes a fermentation in a pressurized tank for 30 days before bottling.   
Map of Brachetto d'Acqui wine area
Copyright of Consorzio Tutela Brachetto d'Acqui
The grape ~ Brachetto 
The grape brachetto is produced within the Piedmont wine region.  Under the Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG it can produce wine in 3 different styles: a still red, sparkling and passito.  The most produced of the three is sparkling and is what Brachetto d’Acqui is most known for.  It’s produced in a frizzante, semi-sparkling style.   
Brachetto is a highly aromatic grape with aromas of intense red fruits (strawberries and raspberries) and roses.  As a sparkling wine the colors are a beautiful ruby in the glass with some purplish hues.  Delicate and light bodied, but lively on the palate with fresh and candied red fruits with soft, fizzy bubbles.   These wines are meant to be enjoyed young and fresh at cool temperatures.   

Once you’ve experienced these wines you’ll understand why it’s a natural accompaniment to fresh fruit, chocolate and charcuterie with cheeses.  In the past I've paired Brachetto d'Acqui with a walnut tart.  It was amazing!  I’ve even wanted to try it with a fresh fruit tart. 

Join my fellow Italian wine lovers as they share an array of Brachetto d'Acqui suggestions and pairings.  If you catch us live in time this Saturday on Twitter at #ItalianFWT we will be chatting at 11am EST.
  • Susannah at Avvinare explores “Brachetto d’Acqui – A Treat from Piedmont”
  • Nicole at Somms Table is pairing “Marenco Pineto Brachetto d’Acqui and Simple Strawberry Treat”
  • Lynn at Savor the Harvest is ready to “Brighten Up Lockdown with Brachetto d’Acqui Sparkling Wine #ItalianFWT”
  • Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla is pairing “Stracotto di Manzo al Vino Rosso + Brachetto d’Acqui”
  • Gwendolyn at Wine Predator is pairing “Brachetto d’Acqui and Grandma’s Biscotti with Cherries Poached in Red Wine and Marscapone #ItalianFWT”
  • Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm is “Whiling Away the Time with Marenco Brachetto d’Acqui Pineto”
  • Jeff Burrows at Food Wine Click finds “Piemonte Brachetto: Sweet, Fizzy and Red!”
  • Terri at Our Good Life is spending “An Afternoon of Wine Learning: Brachetto d’Acqui”
  • Linda at My Full Wine Glass is “Bingeing on Brachetto, Biscotti, Berries and a Chocolate Bunny”
  • Marcia at Joy of Wine is exploring “Brachetto: The Sweetie of Piemonte”
  • Cindy at Grape Experiences plans to “Bring Joy to the Table with Brachetto d’Acqui and Budino al Cioccolato (Chocolate Pudding Italian Style)”