Trentodoc: Italy’s Secret Sparkler

Sparkling wine is one of my faves, and when I was offered a sample of a new-to-me sparkler from Trentodoc, I said, “Si, grazie!” Do you know Trentodoc? It’s one ofItaly’s best sparkling wine regions and its name is kind of a marketing gimmick, but it works. Trento is the main town in the region and it is a DOC (denomination di origine controllata, in Italiano), meaning it has to meet certain rigorous standards for grape growing and wine making. So they did a mash-up and called it Trentodoc!

The most important thing to know that the people of Trentodoc are making some stellar sparkling wines. It’s within the larger Trentino-Alto Adige region, which is the northernmost wine region in Italy, bordering Austria – and in fact, it’s so close to Austria that German is spoken widely, alongside Italian.

The southern half of the region Trentino, is primarily Italian speaking and it’s home to a thriving sparkling wine industry set amid the Dolomite Mountains. These wines are all made in the metodo classico, or traditional method – where the second fermentation (the one that makes the bubbles!) happens in the bottle, as opposed to in a tank.

I have a soft spot for traditional method sparklers, because I love that yeasty, toasty note that you tend to get from spent yeast cells (lees) that gather in the bottle before you disgorge them and seal them with a mushroom cork, cage and aluminum collar.

Another great thing about these wines: super affordalicious! While Champagne is delicious and I love it – I can’t always be popping a $45 or higher bottle on, say, a Tuesday night. But Trentodoc bubbs are generally under $30 – and only in the $20-$25 range. Yes! That is my kind of bubbly. Let’s meet two that I recently tasted:

Monfort Rosé Trentodoc ($26) This is 50/50 Pinot Nero and Chardonnay and 100% delish. On the nose it’s all rosy red fruits – strawberry, raspberry and crisp apple. And of course the color is a pure delight (if you know me, you know my affinity for anything pink!) It’s dry, with bright acidity and subtle toasty notes.

This wine is a dream with cheeses, charcuterie, pizza, Thai food on a Tuesday night – it’s super versatile! It could even handle spicy foods, like curries.

The grapes in th Monfort Rosé are grown on hillsides slopes near the towns of Trento and Pergine, at elevation of 1300-1500 feet. Grapes love high hillsides, because they get lots of sun and excellent drainage. It spent 24 months on its lees, hence the nice toasty toasty note. (I am unsure of availability in the U.S. as I received this sample, but if you ask your wine shop, they might be able to find it for you!)

Ferrari Brut ($18) This one is 100% Chardonnay and also really good. More overtly yeasty than the Monfort, it’s found pretty widely at liquor stores (I got this one at Italy). It’s not surprising how much I love this one, based on love of Champagne. It has a bit of richness to it. Really delicious.

Next time you’re shopping for bubbs, I say: look for ones from Trentodoc. You’re going to get a great quality wine for a great price, every time.

Cheers, friends!

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