2012 Buglioni Amarone
If there is one thing northern Italians love more than their own wine, it’s their mothers. If there are two things they love more than their own wine, it has to be Champagne. Trust me: Go into any village in northern Italy and I guarantee you will find a Champagne bar—crowded, noisy, packed, and pouring bubbly like there is no tomorrow.
Of course, on occasion, France and Italy have gone to war with one another and therefore supplies of Champagne have been interrupted. What to do? Copy the frogs’ method of making Champagne and use your own grapes to produce something just as good as—if not better than—what you can get in Champagne.
Now you can’t call it Champagne, so in Italy you will give it all kinds of regional names – Franciacorta, Prosecco, and here, in our example, Vino Spumante.
~ Now a cautionary note. About 30 years ago “spumante” became associated with syrupy sweet bubbly. While it CAN be that, it DOESN’T HAVE TO BE. Spumante just means sparkling. So in Italy, ordering a Spumante is ordering the local, fresh, bubbly kiss of good cheer in a glass.
And that brings us to the Buglioni family.
They moved to Valpolicella to get away from it all … and discovered the property they just bought was only one month from harvest. They created a sparkling wine for family and friends to enjoy… and then hired a leading enologist to perfect it. They hosted friends and family for dinner… then created three different restaurants from the resulting parties. In short, they now own a top-notch winery producing all kinds of wines in Valpollicela, three restaurants, vineyards, and are having a great deal of fun.
So in our cold depths of winter, remember that you can add a touch of sparkle and passion to your family gathering tonight, all with the wines of Bugloni. Here they are:
The Lo Spudorato Brut Bianco Spumante or “The Shameless” because it stands tall, has no fear, and is not intimidated by other sparkling wines from better-known regions. It opens up with intense aromas of tropical fruits – mango and pineapple, with white flowers blossoming in the background. The palate has delightful structure and acidity, yet remains round in the mouth, a touch savory, very supple and perfectly balanced. It will jumpstart your dinner party as an aperitif, but it need not be relegated to the opening act. The dinner table should remain wide open for this rich Venus!
Of course, mid-meal you may want to switch to a more sumptuous, serious wine. That would be their Amarone. Made from dried grapes, it delivers intense aromas of raisins, savory spices, vanilla, tobacco, cacao and anise. All these are wrapped in a core of fig and baked fruit that overlays a warm, persistent and velvety palate. Pair this powerhouse wine with charred meats, braised beef, and mature cheeses (or all three). It’s bold and delicious, simultaneously hedonistic and contemplative.
With this blustery weather, I know you’re hiding out inside – where sparkle and passion await you, with the wines of Buglioni!