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Sparkling Red

mego1210 Dec 14, 2007 07:00 AM

My mom and I had a wonderful - local - sparkling red wine in Rome a few months ago - and I know I will never find anything like it here, but thought I would give it a shot. It was sparkling - and red - although I cannot remember which grape. It was slightly sweet - but not very. Sooooo good. Any ideas? ( I have tried The Black Chook sparkling shiraz - which is good.)

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  1. m
    Mr F Dec 14, 2007 07:31 AM

    Could have been a Lambrusco. Even if it wasn't, that's the sparkling Italian red you're most likely to find in North America.

    1. c
      chefdilettante Dec 14, 2007 07:54 AM

      If it were local while in Roma, it wasn't Lambrusco--that's from Emilia Romagna. Ergo, it wasn't Brachetto, which is from Piedmonte.

      Roma is in the center of Lazio. The local DOC wines that are made in frizzante (sparkling) style are the Cesanese wines (Piglio, Affile, Olevano Romano) and Circeo.

      1. washingtonred Dec 14, 2007 08:18 AM

        One that has been a hit with myself and all of my wine drinking pals~ Paringa Sparkling Shiraz. Very festive, perfect for the holidays!

        3 Replies
        1. re: washingtonred
          jcoz23 Dec 14, 2007 09:34 AM

          I think that one is great too! Much better price too than some of the other sparkling Shiraz...

          1. re: jcoz23
            chriscatva Dec 16, 2007 04:22 PM

            The other day I had Omni Sparkling Shiraz -- liked it very much. It's $11.99 at Total Wine in Northern Virginia.

            1. re: chriscatva
              mego1210 Dec 18, 2007 09:14 AM

              I have had that one too - very good!

        2. h
          HunterJay Dec 14, 2007 08:43 AM

          Aliancia (not sure of the spelling) makes a Portuguese Sparkling Red. Very enjoyable (in my opinion).

          1. jcoz23 Dec 14, 2007 08:56 AM

            I wonder if maybe it was a wine that was not local? I have seen many places in Rome serve Brachetto even though it is not from the area. Have you tried Rosa Regale? Not the best Brachetto but widely available...

            1. Vinny Barbaresco Dec 14, 2007 10:49 PM

              Was the the wine dry or sweet?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Vinny Barbaresco
                mego1210 Dec 16, 2007 03:27 PM

                It was dry - but maybe a little sweet taste to it.

                1. re: mego1210
                  Vinny Barbaresco Dec 20, 2007 12:55 PM

                  It may have been Bonarda Frizzante from Oltrepo Pavese, it's quite popular in North Central and Central Italy

              2. z
                zinFAN Dec 16, 2007 12:46 AM

                You should email the staff at Wine Expo in west LA. They've got a great assortment of fizzy red & rose wines both dry & off-dry: perfect for non-wine drinkers who want something with a heavier body than prosecco, cava or American sparklers.

                1. b
                  bropaul Dec 16, 2007 04:28 AM

                  I'm drawing a blank on the name, but as I recall in the spring and early summer there's a sparkling red that the Romans drink. The name sounds like the Italian word for strawberry . . . that's it - fragolino.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bropaul
                    mego1210 Dec 16, 2007 03:27 PM

                    You are so right! It definitely had a strawberry taste to it. Any suggestions on something similar?

                    1. re: mego1210
                      bropaul Dec 16, 2007 05:17 PM

                      It wasn't even that common in Rome, when I lived there, so I doubt you would find it here. You might get a vaguely similar experience by mixing some strawberries with a light Lambrusco. I did a Google search and turned up some interesting information. There's an EU regulation that has restricted the production of fragolino to private consumption. There are apparently products on the market and available in the US which are called fragolino, but apparently give the strawberry taste to the wine by using chemical essences.

                      1. re: mego1210
                        estufarian Dec 19, 2007 01:52 PM

                        Perhaps similar. There's a Chilean Sparkler infused with strawberries from Patagonia. Name is Fresita - comes in normal 750ml bottles and also a 4* 187ml pack.

                    2. oolah Dec 17, 2007 07:59 PM

                      Are you sure it was local? Gragnano, from Campania (usually produced near Sorrento), is a slightly sweet and very fizzy red wine. It pairs really well with tomato-based dishes. Serve it slightly chilled and it's a really nice warm weather wine.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: oolah
                        mego1210 Dec 18, 2007 09:17 AM

                        Is Gragnano the name of it - or the type of wine? Any suggestions on labels I should try?

                        1. re: mego1210
                          oolah Dec 18, 2007 09:33 AM

                          Gragnano is a type of wine (and also the name of the town it comes from).

                          It's not at all a fancy wine and retails for around $10-13, so anything you can get your hands on is probably worth a try. In the states, I've had I Normanni before and enjoyed it with food. (I wouldn't drink it without a meal, but I'd say that's true of most Italian wines for me).

                          1. re: mego1210
                            maria lorraine Dec 18, 2007 09:23 PM

                            I'd like to suggest you find the name of the restaurant somehow, and email or fax them.

                            1. re: maria lorraine
                              mego1210 Dec 19, 2007 01:07 PM

                              didn't have it at a restauarant. got it at a local market in Rome. unfortunately I could never remember the name of the market.

                              1. re: mego1210
                                maria lorraine Dec 19, 2007 02:28 PM

                                Dang. You have mentioned a strawberry flavor, and another has mentioned Brachetto d'Acqui, a strawberry-ish, sparkling red. It's lovely. Try it, and see if it
                                comes close. About $16.

                                1. re: mego1210
                                  bropaul Dec 19, 2007 03:13 PM

                                  What neighborhood in Rome? Not that knowing the name would help much, you'd need to know the vendor. My money is still on fragolino.

                          2. maria lorraine Dec 19, 2007 05:28 PM

                            OK, I have a bunch of ideas now!

                            But first, a few questions:
                            Was it fizzy (frizzante) or full-out sparkling?
                            Was it red (rosso) or rose (rosato)?
                            A little sweet (amabile)? Is that right? Not sweet (dolce), right? And not dry (secco)?
                            Was it made very close to Rome, close to Rome, or in the general region of Lazio?
                            Any idea at all of the area where it was made?
                            Would you know the name if I said it to you?

                            There are about 60 wines that fit the category of red, frizzante or sparkling, wines made in the area around Rome in Lazio, just so you know. Your answers to the questions above
                            will help narrow it down.

                            Just to cut to the chase, the most famous red sparkling wine from the hills just north of Rome (Colli della Sabina) is the Colli Della Sabina Rosso Frizzante Amabile.
                            Translation: from the Sabine hills, red, slightly sparkling, slightly sweet.

                            But I have other ideas if that's not it.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: maria lorraine
                              mego1210 Dec 20, 2007 06:35 AM

                              i would say fizzy - maybe sparkling - can't really remember :(
                              definitely red - not rose
                              it was a little sweet
                              don't know where it was made - cannot remember the name - and got it from a local market in Rome (doesn't mean it was made there)
                              i do remember that the label had like a red and white check to it - i think

                              1. re: mego1210
                                maria lorraine Dec 20, 2007 02:12 PM

                                Well, that makes it tough. There's not much to go on.

                                >>>and got it from a local market in Rome (doesn't mean it was made there)
                                But you did say that you were told it was made around Rome, right? That it
                                was a local wine, yes?

                            2. m
                              mego1210 Dec 21, 2007 06:16 AM

                              Thanks to all for great ideas - I will check some of those out and let you know.

                              1. k
                                kvietnievskaya Feb 16, 2013 07:52 AM

                                You may be referring to a Russian variety of sparkling from the Rostov Region of Russia. It's an old 1700 century winery called Tsimlanskoye. Apparently it's also rated quite highly in the world

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: kvietnievskaya
                                  zin1953 Feb 18, 2013 08:51 AM

                                  Since it was purchased in Rome (Italy), and the OP thought it was local -- probably wasn't, but it *was* probably Italian in origin . . . Не думаю

                                2. Robert Lauriston Feb 16, 2013 09:50 AM

                                  The Colli della Sabina DOC includes a sparkling red made from Sangiovese and Montepulciano.


                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    zin1953 Feb 18, 2013 08:52 AM

                                    Also a good guess, but since the OP was last on Chowhound in 2009, I am not sure she will benefit . . .

                                    1. re: zin1953
                                      Robert Lauriston Feb 18, 2013 12:08 PM

                                      Not to mention that the wine would be hard to find even in Rome. That one market stall might well be the only place to get it other than direct from a winery. When I lived there, I encountered a lot of old-school local wines that I'd see only one place, e.g. an off-dry, low-alcohol Fiorano that I saw only in the Fiorano supermarket.

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