Thursday, December 09, 2010

From Rome to Walla Walla: Secco Italian Bubbles

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting with one of Walla Walla's newest residents - Ginevra Casa Smith. Oh sure, the Smith name sounds familiar right? Ginevra (left) and sister Olivia moved from Rome, Italy to the United States where they settled in Colorado. Not only did they pack their bags for their destination, but they packed their history, enthusiasm and passion for wine. Ginevra went to work as an Italian Wine Specialist for a Colorado distributor for four years and Olivia found a place in the wine business, as well. It was a natural for the two of them, with their strong backgrounds in wine, to dream about a wine project of their own.

Soon Ginevra became a new bride and honeymooned in Veneto with her new groom. Oh, and her groom is also a winemaker - - Walla Walla's Charles Smith. Now does the name "Smith" sound familiar? Together the honeymooners discovered wine, as well as sparkling blends in Italy.

Ginevra reminded me about the recent changes to Prosecco laws in Italy. Only the producers in the DOC and DOCG zones are now allowed to call their wine, "Prosecco." Sparkling wines produced in the IGT designation now have to call their sparkling wines, Glera - the name of the white grape variety mainly cultivated for use in Italian sparklers. The term "Prosecco" will be used to identify the region, just like the Champagne region in France, and also the sparkler will be produced with the Glera grape.

What does this mean? It means that if you are not in the Prosecco region and you are not using the Glera grape, blending the Glera grape or making a Rosé sparkler, you cannot use the name,"Prosecco."

So what's Italian girls suppose to do when they can no longer have their favorite Italian bubbles? Well, they make their own! And that is exactly what Ginevra and Olivia did. Ginevra and Olivia kept their Italian tradition alive by creating their own brand, "Secco Italian Bubbles!" And when I asked Ginevra if it was okay to mention Charles when it came to her business, she was delighted to tell me how Charles was instrumental in suggesting that Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) be used in their rosé blend.

"Secco Italian Bubbles" are fun, sexy and food friendly sparklers from Northern Italy. Secco white is a blend of the 60% Pinot Bianco and 40% Prosecco (Glera). It is crisp with fruit and floral notes and finishes dry with a light herbal note. Secco Rosé is not only pretty in the glass, but very swoon-worthy. The blend of 60% Prosecco and 40% Pinot Nero tickles the nose with aromas of roses and then tickles the mid-palate with "fizzy" cherries and berries. Seriously? I had a glass of the Secco Rosé for lunch. Oh yeah and with a chocolate cookie. See? I told you these sparklers were food friendly. Secco Italian Bubbles are luxury wines with affordable price tags.

Ginevra is charming so please take the opportunity next Wednesday, December 15 to meet her at Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman from 5-7 and sample for yourself these fun and flirty Secco Italian Bubbles.

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