Thinking of Franciacorta immediately brings to mind gentle hills, rows of vines, and beautiful sparkling wines! Franciacorta often gets confused with Prosecco, and Champagne when it comes to wine-loving consumers. I get it, it can be difficult unless you’re a sommelier or wine expert to differentiate between the styles, especially if you’re blind tasting. This area in the northern part of Italy is absolutely stunning, with rustic landscapes, tons of history, and rich soils perfect for growing wine grapes.

Franciacorta is a unique style of sparkling wine. They are generally elegant, structured, and can be complex. I had the pleasure of meeting with the wine team of Mirabella Franciacorta, where we had the opportunity to taste an incredible lineup of their wines! It was a lovely afternoon in New York City, where I and some wonderful wine media got together for a delicious lunch at Palma. Palma has a quaint backroom area where you can have an intimate private party, and enjoy their delicious rustic Italian cuisine.

We started off with a glass of the Edea Brut Franciacorta DOCG, which is flowery and citrus-forward with nice acidity and bitterness on the finish. Made from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Bianco, this wine sees 24 months on the lees, which adds a beautiful structure to the wine. This paired beautifully with the Fried Calamari, of course! After we enjoyed the Rosé Franciacorta DOCG, which is made from a blend of 45% Pinot Nero, 45% Chardonnay, and 10% Pinot Bianco. Aromas of yeast and wild berries make this wine very attractive, while the acidity and ripe fruit flavors confirm just how delicious it truly is. We paired this with Housemade Pasta with a Mushroom Truffle Cream Sauce, which was out of this world with the rosé, pairing wise. These wines are perfect with creamy dishes as well as fried foods, which are my absolute favorite with sparkling wines.

Up third, was one of my favorites during the lunch because of the complexity, fruit, and layers in this wine. The Satèn Franciacorta DOCG is 100% Chardonnay from a selection of 18-year-old vineyards. It sees over 36 months on the lees and is delicate yet intense with beautiful yeast and citrus notes. Overall this wine is just stunning, and paired perfectly with the Roasted Chicken and Steak!

We also tasted a few more including the Elite Franciacorta Extra Brut DOCG and the DØM Riserva Dosaggio Zero Franciacorta DOCG. The Elite is also 100% Chardonnay with 30 months on the lees, which gives the wine nice structure and creaminess. This is a perfect dinner wine, and can easily stand up to seafood and lean meats as well as grilled vegetable dishes; I liked this one paired with items that had a little char to them. The DØM Riserva Dosaggio is a unique blend of 60% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Nero, and 15% Pinot Bianco. This wine spends 85 months on the lees, and was a crowd favorite! It’s a rich and pleasant wine, that’s ideal with chocolate mousse, a cheese course after a delectable meal, or paired with citrus cake. This wine has great harmony and personality!

For those interested in trying Franciacorta, and aren’t sure where to start, I highly recommend Mirabella because they focus on quality, sustainability, and working with nature to produce the best wines. They take pride in winemaking and produce such a wide range of styles, that no matter your palate preference, there is, without a doubt, a Franciacorta in the Mirabella portfolio for you!

Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love. Please pair responsibly!