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Italians have a thing with bubbles. A big thing.
France still consumes more sparkling wine, but in my non-scientific observations over 15 years living in Europe, Italians seem to enjoy it more.
Go to any restaurant or bar terrace on a warm evening in northern Italy and watch the endless flow of Prosecco, Franciacorta, other vini spumanti or frizzanti and spritzes. Italians don’t sip daintily at their bubbles or serve them in little flutes. Look at those generous glasses and see the way people seem to simultaneously swirl, drink, talk, laugh and gesticulate.
Some attribute bubble-mania to the Italian temperament. Others say the craze for bollicine was introduced by the French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte’s second wife, Marie Louise, who, in the early 1800s, ruled for more than 30 years as Duchess of Parma.
Whatever the reason, Italians revere the queen of sparklers: Champagne.
“Every two days at home, I finish a bottle of Herbert Beaufort Champagne from Bouzy,” says Christian Bellei, one of Italy’s most Champagne-obsessed producers, who founded Cantina Della Volta in the Lambrusco zone north of Modena.
Bellei, 48, a competitive amateur cyclist with a 125-pound build, is devotedly honing the work started by his father, Giuseppe, a pioneering winemaker who in 1970 adopted Champagne-style techniques (now known as méthode traditionnelle, méthode classique or, in Italian, metodo classico) for Lambrusco...Read the full blog at winespectator.com
See the Video Trailer for PALMENTO on You Tube....
Robert reads from and discusses Palmento at McNally Jackson books in NY Sept. 2010.
Robert on radio