Italians have an infatuation with sparkling everything: Versace clothes, Valentino shoes, before dinner spritzes, and Lambrusco! This style of wine is as old as any, and while it has been classified for many years as sweet and fruity, it is breaking out of that box in a big way, with some producers putting as much into its production as their counterparts do in Champagne. At Coppa, we take this passion to heart, and these aren’t flute or coupe-sized pours, these are full glasses of wine for all of it’s full-bodied flavor. Wine Director Jodie Battles has four bottles of Lambrusco currently in the Sparkling Wine by the Bottle section of the Coppa wine list and we always have at least one by the glass. Each range in diversity, but all come from the same region of Emilia Romagna.
It is said that Napoleon Bonaparte’s second wife, Marie Louise, brought the love for the bubbles to the area from France, when she ruled as the Duchess of Parma for more than 30 years in the early 1800s. These days, no one in the region appreciates Champagne more than Christian Bellei, a fourth-generation winemaker who inherited his father’s love for the process of making Champagne and built his label Cantina della Volta around it. “The classic method makes something that is more elegant, refined and ethereal,” says Bellei and continues speaking to using the technique on his own vines, “maybe the world doesn’t need it, but it’s a dream to use the method on your own grapes.” He uses this process to make his Lambrusco and most of the world doesn’t get a chance to try it. His wines aren’t easy to come by, he himself has never been to America.
Coppa has two of his bottles on the menu. The 2013 Cantina della Volta ($56) is a Lambrusco Bianco, which is a white lambrusco, something you very rarely see and a point of pride in the sense of the varietal for the terroir. The second is a Rimosso ($50), a 2016 Pet-Nat, and a perfect example of where Christian and his father began. The two wines are a beautiful example of where the varietal and its reputation started, and where they have gone.
The region of Emilia Romagna famous for its cheese and charcuterie, and situated in the North of Italy it is a very similar climate to our own. Pro tip: celebrate the change of seasons as they are right now. Here’s how - stop in, order a charcuterie plate, a bottle of Lambrusco, and embrace the sparkling infatuation.