Champagne, Prosecco, cava, sparkling wine…call it what you will but I can’t get enough of the bubbly stuff. A crisp glass of sparkling wine is my go-to drink and whilst I know my favourite bottles it is still fun to try different options, which is why I signed my sister and I up for Firefly‘s “How Italy Sparkles” event. We spent last night at their Cambie street store, swirling and sipping and tasting our way through a small sampling of Italy’s sparkling wines.
Sheila, our sommelier, had carefully chosen the eight different sparkling wines that we tasted over the two-hour event. My sister and I joined ten other women (yes, all of the participants were ladies, go figure!) in the private tasting room at Firefly to see just how Italy’s sparklings stack up.
Seated at the “La Table Commune” we were given a brief introduction to the wine-producing areas of Italy before launching into our first taster. As with most wine it is not usual to come across people who dislike the sparkling varieties, their view likely based on a glass of disappointing fizz that someone has carelessly served at a celebration of some sort. I completely understand that it can be an acquired taste but if you are willing to open your taste buds to the world of sparkling wines you will find that there really does seem to be a flavour for all palates and this was something that became very apparent to me last night.
We started with two Moscato’s which were both very sweet and had very little fizz, in fact, to my uneducated palate the first glass almost passed as a delicate ice wine. These were followed by a very distinctive Cuvée Rosé which had a very unusual aroma and taste and was quite dry, before we moved on to the crowd-pleaser, a very light Colli Trevigiani. Next up were three Proseccos which were drier, fizzier, and more to my liking, before finishing with a glass of Cuvée Prestige which I learned was made in the traditional “Champagne” method and was aged for 30 months (a longer aging time than a standard Champagne). It was evident from the event that there really are so many types of sparkling wine out there that if you don’t like one variety, then chances are that you will like another.
Throughout the tastings we were served three different cheeses that had been selected by Benton Brothers Fine Cheese to match the wines. If these cheeses were a true representation of the cheeses that they retail then I will be making a visit to Benton Brothers very soon for some supplies.
Was it worth it? Absolutely. For $35 we got to try some pretty fantastic sparkling wines and received an introduction to sparkling wines with a trained sommelier. For me, this was good value for money – I don’t want to risk spending $30+ on an unknown bottle of sparkling wine if I’m not sure what it is I’m buying. This tasting event allowed me to try many different types, including some I wasn’t too fond of, so now I have a better knowledge of the types that I do like. If you are interested in a similar wine event, check out Firefly’s event calendar. They do many other tasting events (not just sparkling wines) and I believe you can also make private bookings at the “La Table Commune”.
Note: I paid for this event myself. I’m telling you about it because it was awesome!