5North Carolina Sparklers for Summer Sipping
Picnics on the beach, lounging around the pool or simply adding a touch of glamor to your everyday, we’re keeping things light & bubbly for summer sipping.
The sparkling wine market in the USA is showing no signs of slowing down post pandemic. In fact, our passion for bubbles of all types is increasing. According to “Sparkling Wine in the US Market 2020” compiled by the British agency Wine Intelligence, reports that there are now 50.6 million sparkling wine consumers in the U.S., almost 1 out of 6 Americans, with an increase of +17%. Our North Carolina winemakers are not missing a beat and we’ve selected 5 bubblies worthy of your consideration. They’re perfect as an apéritif and we all love a little spritz to liven up summer dishes. Make sure you're sipping with a view and your favorite tunes.
Swan Creek, NC
“Auguri,” is an Italian toast that translates as "To Health & Happiness.” Eschewing the easier method of fermentation in the tank, Raffaldini chose to ferment each bottle one at a time. This traditional method is extremely laborious but produces the highest quality of wine and it is frequently compared to Franciacorta, a high end Italian-style Champagne, produced in the Province of Lombardy, home of the Raffaldini Family.
Classically refreshing, with high acid, the wine is a blend of pinot grio and trebenan grapes. After the glass is poured, the sound of bubbles fizzing alongside the smell of sliced green apples opens your senses. As the bubbles pop across your palate, flavors begin to explode with a rush of apple, pear, and lime. The finish highlights a minerality of crushed slate and hints of tarragon.
Raffaldini Owner, Jay Raffaldini likes to…
Pair With: Clams Casino (these are stuffed backed clams).
Listen To: Dean Martin – “On an evening in Roma.”
Sip: Al fresco (outside anywhere naturally, preferably by the sea).
Blanc de Blanc
Crafted entirely from Chardonnay grapes using the traditional méthode champenoise process. The Blanc de Blancs (white on white) sparkling wine features fine, tiny bubbles with bright aromas of green apple, clean minerality, and fresh-picked pineapple. A creamy mouthfeel gives way to crisp flavors of Bosc pear and finishes with citrussy notes.
Biltmore Wine Maker, Sharon Fenchak, likes to…
Pair With: Raw oysters with a little lemon, topped with caviar for a special occasion. Also delicious with shrimp ceviche, scallops simply prepared with butter lemon and lime and, lox and bagels for brunch.
Listen To: Jazz or simply the calming sounds of nature.
Sip: Watching the sunset on the mountains or at the beach. A perfect way to toast and start your evening.
Vino du Lusso
Swan Creek, NC
The Chardonnay vines at Piccione Vineyards are the Dijon clone 96, which originated in Burgundy where some of the world’s most spectacular wines are made. Chardonnay grapes are highly influenced by the terrains and regions in which they grow. Temperate climates like Burgundy, New Zealand and North Carolina tend to produce Chardonnay vintages with more pronounced notes of stone fruits – peach, plum and raspberry.
Made in the traditional méthode champenoise style, Vino di Lusso is made with 100% Chardonnay and is a bright, crisp, citrus forward wine with delicate bubbles on the palate.
Piccione’s Tasting Room Manager, Hailey Klepcyk, likes to…
Pair With: Saltier things like beef tartare with capers or small crab cakes on toast points with a lemon roulade. She also loves to start or end a meal with Vino di Lusso.
Listen To: Sinatra
Sip: Unwinding after a long day, staring at the mountains watching the sun go down.
Frothin’ Fizzy Dry Rose
In surfing, the term frothing means to be in an excessively excited state. Frothing is the wine equivalent of paddling out to a perfect lineup with enough waves to go around and the entire afternoon to enjoy it.
This dry rosé combines Sangiovese and Merlot grapes and is bottled with effervescence, lifting the aromatics of cherry and strawberry, with a hint of baking spice to finish.
GM & Vineyard Manager, John Wright likes to…
Pair With: Grandma Utz’s Kettle Chips
Listen To: Disco, like CHIC or something with a groove.
Sip: Near the beach (but not in the sand), with friends who like wine, disco and potato chips.
Pilot Mountain, NC
The name says it all. This lightly sparkling white wine blend of traminette and vidal blanc grapes is bubbling with aromas of tropical fruits, white flowers and minerality. The palate is bursting with juicy citrus flavors.
JOLO Owner and Wine Maker, JW Ray, likes to…
Pair With: Simply prepared pan seared haddock or flounder and homemade pesto sauce (see video) on top of simply buttered noodles. The sparkling wine is light and crisp enough not to overpower the fish but also flavorful enough to cut through the nuttiness and spiciness of the olive oil and basil.
Listen To: Calvin Harris, “Summer”
Sip: Ideally in Positano, Italy.