While Prosecco may be Italy’s most well-known sparkling wine, the country is home to an incredible array of bubbly options. In general, there are two main camps: those made in the Charmat method and those made in the traditional method, or Metodo Classico.
Prosecco is the main adopter of the Charmat method, which carries out a secondary fermentation in stainless steel tanks to gain its bubbles. Made from the Glera grape, these wines are typically bright, zesty and fruit-forward pours that often come at a great value. The newly approved Prosecco Rosé offerings gain their cherry-red hue from a small addition of Pinot Nero in the blend.
Metodo Classico wines are made more akin to Champagne in method, meaning the secondary fermentation to yield carbonation occurs inside each individual bottle. This hands-on approach typically translates to more premium pricing. Within this camp, there are a number of sparkling options that span a range of grape varieties.
Chardonnay and Pinot Nero are the dynamic duo found in Northern Italy’s Alta Langa, Franciacorta and Trentodoc sparkling wines. The native grape Durella is the base for the elegant sparkling wines of Lessini Durello in Veneto, while rare versions of sparkling Aglianico can be found in Campania. Not to be forgotten, the joyous ruby-red and rosé sparkling wines made from the Lambrusco family of grapes offer immense drinkability. This category spans both camps, with options made in the Charmat and metodo classico styles.
Explore the diversity of Italian sparkling wine with these 12 bottles.
Banfi 2017 Cuvée Aurora Rosé Extra Brut Metodo Classico (Alta Langa); $30, Wine-searcher. This lovely sparkler opens with enticing scents of forest berry, blue flower, crushed herb and the barest whiff of fresh pastry shell… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Bisol 2020 Jeio Rosé Brut (Prosecco); $17, Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, Wine.com or Total Wine & More. Fun and refreshing, this bright, easygoing sparkler offers flavors recalling creamy white peach, red berries and a dollop of pastry cream… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Ca’ del Bosco 2016 Vintage Collection Dosage Zero (Franciacorta); $75, Wine-searcher. Fragrant and boasting a great purity of fruit and flavors, this gorgeous, radiant sparkler opens with delicate scents of white spring flower… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Cantina della Volta 2016 Metodo Classico Brut Rosé (Lambrusco di Sorbara); $38, Vivino. Red berry, violet and a whiff of brioche form the enticing nose on this lovely sparkler… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Corte Giacobbe 2015 Cuvée Augusto Extra Brut Riserva (Lessini Durello); $52, Vivino. Enticing scents of chamomile, ripe pear, citrus and toasted hazelnut come to the forefront… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Ettore Germano 2017 Extra Brut (Alta Langa); $45, Vivino. All about creamy elegance and flavor, this gorgeous sparkler has enticing scents that recall field flowers, white stone fruit… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Nino Franco NV Rustico (Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore); $20, Total Wine & More, Vivino or Wine.com. This lovely sparkler never disappoints. It’s fragrant, with delicate scents of white spring flowers and white stone fruits… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW