Wednesday, July 30, 2008


One of my wine reps brought by a bottle of Brachetto yesterday for me to taste and that reminded me that how much I like it. Although it is something that I am known to serve at parties at home, it is not a wine we stock here at the restaurant, but one that I really should find an excuse to bring on. But where am I going to find the cooler space? Wine reps take note: cooler space is a finite resource.

Brachetto is the name of a red grape that is most commonly grown in the Piedmont of Italy, but a little bit is also grown in Provence around Nice where it is known as Braquet and the wines are labelled Bellet AOC. Bellet is bottled in both red and rosé forms. I have mostly drunk the rosé in Provence, but the red can be quite solid.

The most well known Italian appellation is Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG, which although made in still and sparkling wines, is almost always seen here in the US in its lightly sparkling (frizzante) form.

The wine I tasted yesterday was of the lesser appellation Piemonte Brachetto DOC, but it was as good as any wine from Acqui that I have ever tasted. Brachetto in its most common frizzante form is a low alcohol, slightly sweet, slightly sparkling light red wine with a bouquet and palate of strawberries and sweet cherries. I find it very refreshing.

I like to serve it at brunch over fresh strawberries in the spring and fresh raspberries or wineberries in the summer. And we always seem to end our Piemontese wine dinners here at the restaurant with a glass of Brachetto d'Acqui. It's a wine you should add to your vocabulary.

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