Tomorrow / today (it's almost 2 am and I'm watching a "very good vintage" film that I love ... also because I love Provence and France in general) is the last day of the year ... and I'm sure you'll uncork too at least one bottle of bubbles! I haven't decided yet what to uncork with Davide, but I'll think about it in a few hours! ? I decided to take the opportunity of this New Year 2018 to report you i 20 wines that I have awarded as the best Italian sparkling wines 20 of this 2018 edition of my Guide Sparkling Wines 500 boils in 500!

Stage 1: Northern Italy

The best Italian sparkling wines I've tasted are:

Friuli-Venezia Giulia: Dorigo

Blanc de Noir Dosage Zero 2010 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

VSQ White Spumante Classic Method | 100% Pinot Noir | Vinification: steel and French oak barriques | Yeasts: 60 months | Sugars: | 12,5% vol | 2.000 bottles | 25 โ‚ฌ |

It has a beautiful bright straw yellow with a very fine and persistent perlage. The nose is delicately intense, complex and elegant. Notes of chamomile, yeast, butter biscuits, white chocolate, pear, thyme, white pepper and vanilla.  In the mouth the bubble is perfect and the taste enchants. It has a slightly oxidized tip that makes it gain in complexity and is supported by a great freshness. The taste is elegant, quite savory and with a very long finish that fades into citrus notes. It goes well with pasta dishes with tasty sauces.

Alto Adige: Lorenz Martini

Alto Adige Brut "Comitissa" Reserve  2012 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

DOC Bianco Spumante Classic Method | 40% Pinot Bianco 30%, Pinot Nero, 30% Chardonnay | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 46 months | Sugars: 2 g / l | 13% vol  | 14.800 bottles | 25 โ‚ฌ |

Intense straw yellow color, crystalline, it shows a very fine and continuous perlage. Delicate and complex nose: notes of apple, sage, flint, candied citron, bread crust, white chocolate and salted caramel. In the mouth it enters decided, intense, soft and creamy, fresh, sapid, with a very persistent almond finish. Harmonious, it leaves the mouth really clean. Excellent for a quality aperitif, perfect for marinated or grilled fatty fish.

Lombardy: Biondelli

Franciacorta Brut Nature "Premiรฉre Dame" 2011 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

DOCG Bianco Spumante Classic Method | 100% Chardonnay | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 60 months | Sugars: 0 g / l | 12,5% vol | 5.000 bottles | 25 โ‚ฌ |

It has done an incredible growth compared to the 2010 vintage. Of a beautiful intense and brilliant straw yellow with golden reflections. The nose enchants for its intensity and its breadth: honey, pastry, biscuit, sweet licorice, avocado, quince, vanilla, candied citron. In the mouth it is crunchy and intense, and then softens after a few moments. The taste is balsamic and mineral, with an aftertaste of medicinal herbs and ripe peaches. From meditation!

Piedmont: Gabriele Scaglione

Alta Langa Brut Reserve "MC" 2011 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

DOCG Bianco Spumante Classic Method | 100% Pinot Noir | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 46 months | Sugars: 4 g / l  | 12% vol | 1.500 bottles | 18 โ‚ฌ |

Bright straw yellow, fine and numerous perlage that forms a persistent crown. The nose, delicate and elegant, made me fall in love and the taste gave me the coup de grace! Hints of vanilla, maracuja, sage, peppermint, white chocolate, cherry in alcohol, hazelnut, caramel, lemon zest and pink pepper. In the mouth it is intense, creamy, savory, fresh, with an extraordinary flavor of ripe fruit and sweet spices that ends in a citrusy finish and a light toast of hazelnut. Great structure, very long finish and excellent drink. For meditation and great cheeses.

Liguria: Durin

Pas Dosรฉ  "Bร sura Obscura" ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

VSQ White Spumante Classic Method | 100% Pigato | Vinification: steel and French oak barrels | Yeasts: 18 months | Sugars: | 12,5% vol | 6.000 bottles | 18 โ‚ฌ |

It has an intense and brilliant straw yellow color, with some golden reflections. The perlage is very fine, very numerous and persistent. On the nose the aromas are really pleasant and particular. Delicately complex, it has notes of vanilla, butter, wax, hazelnuts, pear, peaty nuances and a salty finish. In the mouth the bubble is creamy, with an excellent flavor and a great flavor. Fresh and elegant, it has a nice long finish. Perfect in contrast to foods with a sweet tendency such as shellfish, goose, or a not very seasoned ham ... but I assure you that with pappardelle with freshly picked honey mushrooms it was excellent!

Stage 2: Central Italy

The best Italian sparkling wines I've tasted are:

Tuscany: Felsina

Brut 2012 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

VSQ White Spumante Classic Method | 40% Sangiovese, 25% Pinot Nero, 20% Chardonnay, 15% wine of the previous year | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 32 months | Sugars: | 12% vol | 6.000 bottles | 22 โ‚ฌ |

Intense straw yellow with a fine and numerous perlage that forms a persistent crown. On the nose an intense note of dried tomatoes, toasted bread, vanilla, oregano, eucalyptus honey. In the mouth there is a perfect correspondence to the nose and a great creaminess of the bubble. Particularly elegant, soft, fresh, with good structure and a rather long finish. Not for everyone, but it is certainly capable of giving great satisfaction. Perfect for grilled vegetables, eggplant parmigiana, caponata, very tasty and even savory cheeses.

Tuscany: Tenuta Mariani

Rosรฉ Brut "Secret Fรปt de Chรชne" 2015 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

VSQ Rosato Spumante Classic Method | 100% Sangiovese | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 18 months | Sugars: 6 g / l | 12,5% vol | 2.500 bottles | 18 โ‚ฌ |

Beautiful soft and brilliant rose with bronze reflections. The perlage is not particularly numerous but it is very fine and forms a very abundant and persistent foam. The nose is very particular but really pleasant, with aromas of ripe fruit. Different notes of peach, melon, vanilla, pomegranate, blackberry, banana, dark chocolate, amaretto. In the mouth it is silky, balanced, soft, fresh, overall very elegant and very long. As an aperitif accompanied with marinated anchovies or a good Tuscan raw.

Marche: Bruscia

Bianchello del Metauro Brut "Conte Giulio" 2012 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

DOC Bianco Spumante Classic Method | 100% Bianchello | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 36 months | Sugars: 6,5 g / l | 12% vol | 3.000 bottles | 20 โ‚ฌ |

It presents itself very well: beautiful bright golden yellow. Fine and very numerous perlage that forms a really persistent foam. The nose is delicate, elegant and ample, with notes of vanilla, bergamot, candied citron, yeast, sage, acacia flowers, hazelnut, white chocolate, apricot, herbs, marjoram, graphite. In the mouth it is crunchy, but at the same time silky. Very fresh, excellent nose, salty note on the finish. Delicacy, great structure and long elegant finish. Really well done. Perfect on its own, it excels with hard cheeses.

Umbria: Stefano Grilli La Palazzola

Riesling Brut 2013 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

VSQ White Sparkling Ancestral Classic Method | 100% Riesling | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 36 months | Sugars: | 12,5% vol | 13.000 bottles | 25 โ‚ฌ |

It has an intense and brilliant straw yellow with a fine, numerous and continuous perlage. Candied pear, cedar, dry hay, pastry and tuff blend with a hint of hydrocarbons. Silky bubble. Intense, fresh, sapid, with good structure and great elegance. End of very long orange peel. It goes very well with shellfish, possibly steamed or cruditรฉ. Absolutely to try with duck with orange, after an appetizer of croutons with foie gras and caramelized Tropea onions.

Lazio: Cantina Del Tufaio

Pas Dosรฉ "AmmiRose" 2005 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

VSQ Rosato Spumante Classic Method | 100% Merlot | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 120 months | 12,5% vol | 350 bottles | 45 โ‚ฌ |

It has a beautiful cherry pink with powdery reflections. The perlage is very fine, very numerous and persistent. On the nose, notes of raspberry, strawberry, apple, bitter cocoa, chalk on a blackboard, oregano flowers intertwine. In the mouth it is crunchy, round, very fresh, slightly savory, elegant and persistent. Perfect alone at the end of the evening in good company, but goes well with first courses also with tasty seasonings and undercooked veal.

NB Ammirose was born as an experiment from a volcanic land suited for sparkling wine and for thick wines. It is a classic pas dosรฉ method sparkling wine, aged on yeasts for 10 years in a hand-carved tuff cave in the 1881, at the constant temperature of 12,5 ยฐ. From the bottling, which takes place in the cave, to the riddling on pupitre, up to the degorgemรจnt through disgorgement ร  la voilรจ, are steps made entirely by hand.

Stage 3: Southern Italy

The best Italian sparkling wines I've tasted are:

Campania: Masseria Campito

Asprinio of Aversa "Priezza" 2016 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

DOP Bianco Spumante Classic Method | 100% Asprinio | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 36 months | Sugars: | 12% vol | 6.000 bottles | 11 โ‚ฌ |

It owes its name to an ancient Neapolitan word which means "great joy" and which is well suited to the opening of sparkling wine in a moment of celebration. In fact, when I saw it, I immediately thought that it is a color that gives great satisfaction to the eyes! Of a brilliant and beautiful golden yellow, it has a fine and very numerous perlage that forms a persistent foam. The nose is very fresh and has very pleasant citrus notes: orange, lemon, mandarin, bergamot blend into a crunchy note with freshly baked hazelnuts. The finish has just memories of caramel not yet ready. In the mouth it is crunchy and with an acidic lash, justly savory and fresh, balanced above all by the softness of a taste that is enriched with hints of yeast. The finish is long. The perfect pairing is with seafood risotto with shellfish.

Puglia: Franco Di Filippo

Ecstasy in Harmony 2010 Pas Dosรฉ ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

VSQ White Spumante Classic Method | 100% Moscato Reale di Trani | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 12 months | Sugars: | 12% vol | 2.500 bottles | 15 โ‚ฌ |

The color is enchanting, of a very intense and brilliant golden yellow. The perlage is very fine and very numerous. The nose is an explosion of aromas: apricot, candied citron, saffron, date, chestnut honey. Intense in the mouth, with a creamy and at the same time crunchy bubble. Rightly sapid, fresh, with a mineral note that becomes more and more important, it amazes for its great elegance. The finish is bitter and very long. Definitely a wine capable of conquering even the most skeptical palate. Perfect on its own, it goes well with blue cheeses, goats, crustaceans and sea urchins.

Puglia: D'Araprรฌ

Brut "Noble Reserve" 2013 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

DOC Bianco Spumante Classic Method | 100% Bombino white | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 36 months | Sugars: | 12,5% vol | 9.000 bottles | 20 โ‚ฌ |

Intense and brilliant straw yellow with golden reflections. Fine and very numerous perlage that forms a persistent crown. On the nose, rich, fat and complex aromas: raw butter, pastry, banana, white chocolate, pineapple, hazelnuts and lots of vanilla. In the mouth it enters creamy, very savory, with evolving notes, good freshness and great balance. Superb with spaghetti carbonara.

Basilicata: Cantine del Notaio

The Stipula Brut 2012 ????

DOC Bianco Spumante Classic Method | 90% Gros Manseng, 10% Chardonnay | Vinification: steel and French oak barrels | Yeasts: 18 months | Sugars: 0 g / l | 13% vol | 8.000 bottles | 18 โ‚ฌ |

As soon as I poured it I was astonished: the color is extraordinary! An intense and brilliant golden yellow, with a very fine, numerous and very persistent perlage. The nose is a poem of scents, all focused on aromatic herbs: sage, thyme limonino and marjoram that blend happily into the soft nougat, the hazelnut brittle, the white chocolate cream and the biscuit. And then again caramelized and toasted peanuts, fresh pineapple and a very light note of cumin. In the mouth the bubble is crunchy, the taste is intense and complex, the cumin becomes more persistent, ginger is added, a medicinal note that blends well with white chocolate no longer in cream. Very fresh, with a nice flavor, of great elegance and structure and long on the finish. It goes well with grilled fish, roast meats and fresh cheeses. I also paired delicious beef and sausage meatballs with stewed carrots, celery and onion, cooked in broth and wine!

Calabria: Santa Venere

Brut "SP1" 2014 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

VSQ White Spumante Classic Method | 100% Gaglioppo | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 18 months | 12,5% vol | 4.000 bottles | 22 โ‚ฌ |

Intense and brilliant straw yellow. The perlage is quite fine and continuous. On the nose there is a heady scent of watermelon that is not yet fully ripe, aromatic herbs, salt, white peach, graphite, almond and a bergamot finish. In the mouth it enters creamy, vertical, very fresh, savory ... you really feel the sea! Excellent nose-to-mouth compliance. Long finish. Perfect for a fruity and fresh aperitif!

Stage 4: Islands

The best Italian sparkling wines I've tasted are:

Sicily: Of Ties

Grillo Extra Brut Sicilian Lands 2013 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

IGT Bianco Spumante Classic Method | 100% Green shackle | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 24 months | Sugars: | 12% vol | 3.000 bottles | 18 โ‚ฌ |

It is pale and bright golden yellow with a very fine, numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is intense and very good: notes of hazelnut, bread crust, soft amaretto, candied cedar, coffee powder, white chocolate, white peach not yet ripe, chamomile flowers, date are intertwined. In the mouth it enters creamy and very fresh, with a nice flavor and a great structure. Excellent correspondence to the nose, overall elegant. Certainly a wine that everyone does not like, but which I am sure will make those who know understand fall in love with it. Outstanding value for money. I have paired it with Gragnano pasta made just for him with aubergine fillets and bacon shaded in the same wine with aromatic herbs. Divine.

Sicily: Musita

"Passocalcara" Brut ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

VSQ White Spumante Classic Method | 100% Chardonnay | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 36 months | Sugars: 1,8 g / l | 12% vol | 2.000 bottles | 21 โ‚ฌ |

I fell in love with this particular wine. At first, I admit that I looked at him almost suspiciously: but how? A pure Chardonnay in Sicily ?? Stealing the heart of a lover of the great native white vines of this splendid land like me was not easy ... yet he succeeded in less than an instant! This great international grape variety interprets the terroir in which it is bred to perfection. Intense straw yellow with splendid golden reflections. The perlage is very fine, very numerous and persistent. On the nose a wide and particular bouquet dominated by lemon jam, bergamot, orange juice, caramelized figs, chestnut honey and fresh natural date, which blend into a pleasant mentholated finish. In the mouth it is really delicious! The bubble is creamy. Acid, vertical, sapid. Perfect correspondence to the nose, the flavor is even more intense than lemon jam. Elegant and persistent and shockingly good. To combine with red meats or tuna in tartare or prepared as a freshly cut.

Sicily: Gelsomina

Etna Brut "La Gelsomina" 2013 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

DOC Bianco Spumante Classic Method | 100% Nerello Mascalese | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 18 months | Sugars: 5 g / l | 12,5% vol | 1.350 bottles | 22 โ‚ฌ |

It has an intense and brilliant golden yellow with a fine, very numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is really delicious: caramelized orange peel with white chocolate, cumin, caper flowers, basil, apple, graphite. In the mouth excellent correspondence to the nose. It is enriched with spicy notes of cloves and cinnamon and a pleasant smoky note. Creamy, elegant, very tasty, fresh sparkling ... one glass leads to another! I paired it with spaghettoni with the pesto of Salina capers with hazelnuts, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan. Also try with preparations based on Bronte pistachios and slightly fat semi-hard cheeses.

Sardinia: Quartomoro

Brut "Q Quartomoro" ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

VSQ White Spumante Classic Method | 100% Vermentino | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 18 months | 12,5% vol | 5.000 bottles | 19 โ‚ฌ |

A beautiful bright golden yellow. The perlage is fine, numerous and persistent. The nose is fat and rich, with hints of toasted and buttered bread, fig, camomile, caper fruit, rock salt. In the mouth it has a nice vigor, the bubble is crunchy and very pleasant, so much acidity that leads it to have a good aging potential. Beautiful salinity on the citrus and very long finish. In combination with the whole meal, to try with a sheep burger respecting the territory of origin. A pleasant alternative combined with shellfish that balances with its flavor. I among other things I paired it with a spaghettone with tomato sauce camoni and pecorino ... delicious!

Sardinia: Vigne Surrau

Rosรฉ Brut "Surrau" 2013 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ†

VSQ Rosato Spumante Classic Method | 100% Cannonau | Vinification: steel | Yeasts: 24 months | Sugars: 8 g / l | 12,5% vol | 6.000 bottles | 25 โ‚ฌ |

It has a beautiful onion-skin pink color, with a fine, very numerous and very persistent perlage. The nose is very particular and really pleasant. Linden flowers, caper flowers, salty notes, rosemary and white pepper blend in a hint of freshly baked bread crust. In the mouth it enters intense, the bubble is crunchy, a beautiful acid vein blends well with the final flavor. The taste is that of a ripe strawberry topped with a splash of lemon and pepper. Perfect for all raw crustaceans or with delicate seasonings, or for a shrimp tempura.

Create the first edition of 500 bubbles in 500 it was an epic work, because, being a first edition, it was the first time of everything. The first time I cataloged over 2000 samples of Italian sparkling wines arrived from every corner of Italy. The first time I tasted so many wines in a relatively few months. The first time I designed the layout of a wine guide and I was trying to compose a harmonious and coherent puzzle of tastings. The first time I wrote a book with many pages. The first time I ran such a huge job with a typography, even in terms of copies. And it's just the beginning.

Drawing up a guide like this, with the quality of this, also in terms of photographic content, is a very expensive job, both in terms of time and in economic terms. However satisfaction is immense.

It wasn't as perfect as I wanted, but I worked to the best of my (limited) financial resources with theaim to provide you with a product that will make you fall in love with Italian bubbles

I sincerely hope that these wines (and the other 480 selected sparkling wines) will accompany you on the most special occasions of your 2018.

Cheers โค

Chiara

PS. Have you already bought your copy of 500 bubbles in 500 Sparkling Wines Guide - Ed. 2018?

PPS As always, thanks to the photos UniversoFoto.it for giving me the wonderful Sony RX100M4 with which I took almost all the photos on the Guide.

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