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Ferrari Trento Brut Perle ’07- $23

Dwight Casimere | 2/11/2015, 6:41 p.m.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, thoughts are turning to bouquets of flowers, romantic dinners and bottles of sparkling ...
Brand Ambassador - Ferrari/Lunelli Group Jamie Stewart

Photo: Jamie Stewart

Brand Ambassador - Ferrari/Lunelli Group

By Dwight Casimere

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, thoughts are turning to bouquets of flowers, romantic dinners and bottles of sparkling wine. One classy, tasty and reasonably priced alternative to French Champagne are the marvelous sparkling wines of northern Italy. For the past several years, Cantine Ferrari in Italy's northeastern Trentino region has made a consistently award-winning sparkling wine. Founded more than a century ago, this family-owned winery has produced some of the finest sparkling wines Italy has to offer. Their flagship sparkling wines use the Metodo Classico (traditional French Champagne method). Winner of this year's prestigious Tre Bicchieri award (the symbolic three wine glasses), sponsored by Gambero Rosso, the Italian culinary institute and online publication, magazine and television production, much like our Food Network.

Trento Brut Perle '07 ($23) was the winner of the 2015 Due Bicchieri (two glasses) award. Made with 100% Chardonnay grapes, this is an elegant and complex sparkling wine with a beautiful light straw color that gives initimations of the flavor bounty that awaits inside the bottle. This is the perfect accompaniment to the romantic foods that dominate the Valentine's Day table, lobster poached in butter, scallops seared with shallots and sherry in the chafing dish and pillows of thin veal medallions glazed with Marsala. When Giulio Ferrari returned to his native Trentino from studies in France in 1902 with the ambition of using the combination of Trentino's unique terroir and Chardonnay grapes to create world class sparkling wine. Having no children of his own to pass on the family business, he chose trusted friend and local merchant Bruno Lunelli as his successor. Today, a third generation of the Lunelli family, is at the helm, with Matteo Lunelli as President and CEO. Lunelli and his American Brand Ambassador, Jamie Stewart, have become consistent presences in the nation's top wine honors, including Wine Spectator's Top 100 and now, internationally, at Tre Bicchieri. Valentine's Day is a great time to lift a glass to love and to say "Salute!" to one of Italy's finest sparkling wine producers.