Greetings from the Trentino-Alto Adige area of Northern Italy. Close to the borders of Austria, Switzerland, and Slovenia, I’m hanging out in Trento. Not only is it a city in Italy but, more vitally to my predilections, it is also the name of a wine region solely dedicated to Italian sparkling wine. Produced in the same manner as Champagne, the process of a wine undergoing a secondary fermentation in the bottle (which makes bubbles) is known in Italy as Metodo Classico. The standard-bearer for excellence, history, innovation, and tradition in this area is Ferrari. And I’m their guest at Metodo Classico Camp.
And though he’s not our camp counselor per se, I am pleased that Jamie Stewart, Ferrari’s US Brand Ambassador, is here to shepherd us through this experience. I first me Jamie at a memorable lunch at Canlis in Seattle. This event not only led me to collaborate with my friend Cynthia Nims on a food and wine blog post, highlighted by Garam Masala Caramel Corn and Ferrari Rosé, but also to ask Jamie to be a guest on my Wine Without Worry podcast. He is a thoughtful and passionate proponent for the region, the wines, and the people of Ferrari. It’s a lyrical, poetic half hour fitting of both Jamie’s articulate dialogue and the fantastic sparkling wines of Trento. You know I’m going to strongly suggest you listen to the whole show, but I can’t resist giving you a tease about what’s in store:
- The “towering palisades” that are the Dolomites, and the effect this dramatic mountain range has on the region’s weather, grape growing, and winemaking.
- How Giulio Ferrari, after studying and working in Champagne, founded a sparkling wine house in 1902.
- The emotional quotient of Champagne, and capturing (and bottling) that response in a manner representing Trento and Ferrari.
- Sparkling wine: No longer relegated to a narrow window of “inane conversation and bad canapés“.
- How a white wine can behave like a red wine.
- Pepperoni pizza and Joël Robuchon.
- Can you deny that discovering sparkling wine was like “discovering fire for the second time“?
So get an ice bucket ready, grab a bottle of Ferrari, point the cork away from all people and fragile objects, slowly and safely remove said cork, and enjoy a generous glass of fine Italian sparkling wine. (See example at right for visual instruction regarding the latter part of this directive.) Oh, and tune in.
Update: It would be an understatement to say I did not expect the world of wine blogging to address the government shutdown. (And, candidly, neither did I when I hit “Publish” this morning.) So incongruous, right? Writing about wine is to enter an idealized and romanticized world of wonderful, breathtaking opportunities. But rarely does someone use this platform to touch upon events intensely personal, gut-wrenching, and relevant to the big picture. Please read “Life With Food” on Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews. And, additionally, let it inspire you to give. In my part of the country, I support Food Lifeline, and did so again today.
Note: Ferrari is a very common name in Italy; not related to the famous sports car company. This image of a new Chardonnay vineyard planted at over 600m elevation should recalibrate you back to wine: