Thursday, May 10, 2012

Under Water Wine!

The Husband and I have been dining all over town over the last two weeks. We actually have not had a night home since I made the cake below. And while I should have loads and loads of delicious things to tell you, I'm rather exhausted, so I'll save them for a later date.  We did however, have something rather spectacular during our two weeks of "not a single home cooked meal" fun. 

A good friend of ours is a connoisseur of sparkling wine and has been kind enough to share with The Husband and I some of the amazing wine's he has collected over the years.  While The Husband and I enjoy eating and drinking, we are much more comfortable in the world of Beers, Spirits and Red Wines than we are in the realm of The Sparking. So our friend has slowly but surely shown us all of the beauty and deliciousness a glass of bubbly can bring.  

So to start, for those who do not know, all Champagnes are sparking wines, but not all sparking wines are Champagnes. Champagne comes specifically from the Champagne region in France, everything else is simply Sparking. 

Between our friend and Telegraph Wine Bar (an amazing wine bar in Logan Square that has spectacular food) we've been able to learn a fair amount about the delicious bubbly beverage. My favorite, is a deep ruby red sparking wine from Italy called Quaquarini. It has the deliciousness of a red, but the added fuzzy of the sparkle. VERY precise, I know.

However, this post is not about Sparking Wines in general, but a SPECIFIC one, Bisson Abissi Spumante. Our good friend was coming into town and found on the Telegraph Wine Bar Blog a post about  rare arrivals, one a delicious red (worth the trip up for a glass) and the other about a sparking wine that was aged 200 feet underwater for 13 months. Between hearing that and reading  The New York Times Review, I was sold. 

Other than it's super awesome, the reason the wine was fermented underwater was simply space.  So the winter, Piero Lugano, decided to do what the Romans had done a thousand years ago, age it underwater.  And according to Signore Lugano, in his interview with The Times:

“It’s better than even the best underground cellar, especially for sparkling wine. The temperature is perfect, there’s no light, the water prevents even the slightest bit of air from getting in, and the constant counterpressure keeps the bubbles bubbly. Moreover, the underwater currents act like a crib, gently rocking the bottles and keeping the lees moving through the wine.” 

So, while I can not do nearly as good a job explaining this wine as Jeremy Quinn or Alan Tardi, I will tell you this: It was worth it. Just as both articles say, the wine pours super bubbly, but calms down almost immediately. I am not a Spumante fan, I find them to be too sweet. This however was perfect. Slightly fruity initially, but a lovely dry finish. 

And I can tell you, that after drinking our bottle, I went out looking to get another one. There aren't many here in the States, however I fortuitously found that Perman Wine (if you are ever looking for a fantastic wine shop, I highly recommend) had received three bottles back in March, they were the only retail space in Chicago to receive bottles. I called them and had the amazing luck to find that they had one left, kizmit! 

And so, now The Husband and I must decide when to pop our next bottle. 

A charmed life we live, indeed.
Our bottle, 6,112 of 6,200

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