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Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Sweet Heart Bubbly: 2009 Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto

The CCWB was  just in France's Rhone-Zone now it's time to jump in the wine-wagon and take a spin over to Piedmont, Italy one of my favorite wine regions and home to some of Italy's most well known and revered red wines: Barolo and Barbaresco. But Piedmont also lays claim to a wonderful frothy little number, a semi-sweet sparkling wine which has as much in common with Barolo as Rock does with Classical music.

No disrespect intended but this wine is what it is, a strawberry cream puff with bubbles. I still think this wine deserves your respect and your hard-earned dollars for its ability to pair every so nicely with chocolate, especially dark or bittersweet and its ability to counteract the heat encountered in many spicy dishes. I know, I know after a certain age [thinking age 10] it may appear odd to drink cherry soda pop in public; this is where Banfi's Brachetto comes in, it makes drinking pink bubbly [cherry soda pop] appear to be the chic [a stretch] or at the very least a little more grown up.

I know many folks are dismissive of this wine, I think it's because of the physical resemblance to Lambrusco and is perhaps the reason that many will take a pass on this pink bubbly. If that is you, please take another look because I believe after your first sip you will be convinced [as I am] this is wine can be downright sublime, on the right occasion and in right circumstance. That faux candied taste you find in Lambrusco is no where to be found in sip, after sip of  elegant Rosa Regale.This sparkling vino is dressed to impress your Valentine's day dining partner, so give it a swirl.

C'mon guys often times you only have one chance to get this right and you know that having the correctly themed bottle of sparkling wine to complement this occasion is crucial for what could possibly happen next, if you've played your cards right. You could spring for some fancy French bubbly neither you really know anything about, but really what better way is there to start the evening off right, then with a PINK bubbly. If your smart and wanna score some big perception points then the Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto 2009 I believe answers the age old question. Can you bottle seduction? If so what would it look like and taste like? Folks honestly this is bottled seduction, yes you still get that champagne-cork pop and see the sizzle as you pour this unique elixir just before dinner or as an after dinner treat.

Swirl: With the appearance of drinking a pink soda pop, this frothy and unique red sparkling wine is a delight. A transparent pinkish Tourmaline colored core light raspberry colored foam. Rosa Regale is delightfully vivacious and festive wine in the glass.

Sniffy: A nicely fragrant nose with wonderful aromatics, which just leap from the glass with hints of rose petals, where raspberry and strawberry nuances abound.

Slurp:  Now to the tasting note; there's what I would call a prevalence of wild strawberry fruit gushing forth, and the effervescent goodness which is not totally dissimilar to Moscato, only this one is pink, deep pink, quaff-able pink, with a nice note of acidity on the finish which prevents the sickening sweet finish associated with some wines of this type.

What's in it: 100% Brachetto, which is a rare grape variety indigenous in Italy. Wines made from Brachetto are generally medium in body, lightly sparkling and can be slightly sweet to semi-sweet and these wines are usually fruity and floral with aromas of raspberry, black cherry and rose petals [hello].

Vineyards: Rosa Regale is produced by Vigne Regali from Strevi, Piedmont. It is owned by the U.S. importer Banfi Vintners. All the grapes are harvested from the La Rosa single vineyard within the Acqui D.O.C.

Pairing Partners: I would say most of the traditionally challenging wine matches, are enhanced by the accompaniment of Rosa Regal and really makes for a winetastic aperitif.  But it's also a great picnic-wine which pairs ever so nicely with many types of Charcuterie, along side a fresh baguette.

Where to Purchase: This wine can be found here in San Diego at either BevMO and also I've seen it at Cost Plus World Market selling in the price $25 to $27 range.

ABV: This is the best part, with this wine weighing in at a mere 7%, you still be at your best in any and all situations. Filed under Just-Saying: Because this wine is exceedingly low in alcohol it won't interfere with any after-dinner plans, if you know what I mean. It's well documented that too much alcohol tends to have deleterious effects on male performance [oh-my raised eye-brows].

Pink Bubbly: What other wine aromatics speak so eloquently of freshly picked strawberries and [hello again] rose petals ? None other than this frothy little inebriate, it's all at once delightfully vivacious and festive, while its charms extend across a palette of occasions and food pairings, from savory to sweet. This can be served as your apéritif to stimulate your appetite for the things to come or at the culmination of your evening to be served with dark chocolates which could give you and your romantic interest a lift in the right direction.

Wild, different and Unexpected: Don't expect to find Banfi Brachetto d'Acqui Rosa Regale on too many restaurants wine lists, take my advice and go BYOB. Most "Corkage Fees" are nominal ($15-$25) guys if you are reading this; believe me your dinner date [romantic interest] will be impressed with your incredible taste, thoughtfulness and uniqueness. While everyone else is toasting their love with ordinary pale yellow sparkling wine or Champagne you will have the captured the moment with what some have called the the inebriate of love!

My Recommendation: My advice is to find yourself a bottle or two today as they often go fast, not too many stores stock this item with any depth. Rosa Regale retails between $19.99 and $24.99 each. Like Champagne it's best served chilled. So if you plan on BYOB, make sure you ask your server to please put it on some ice for maximum enjoyment. Here's to your success this coming Valentine's Day and until next time sip long and prosper, cheers everyone.

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