Flute elitism in this day & age? Assessments from Franciacorta

Above: Many late evenings tasting Franciacorta and kibitzing with my good friend and extreme life force Giovanni Arcari in Brescia…

Franciacorta lover Franco Ziliani’s post this week on “Which Glass for Our Bubbles?” got me thinking fondly about my visit to Brescia and Franciacorta in October of last year for the European Wine Bloggers Conference.

Over the course of five or so days that I spent there, I drank sparkling wine from Franciacorta at nearly every meal and it was never served to me in a conventional flute. Nor was the question of what glass to serve Champagne-method wines ever even posed.

Above: At the restaurant Novecento in Brescia, our server — who wasn’t particularly wine savvy — poured Gatti’s Franciacorta Nature in Bordeaux glasses.

In Franco’s post, he quotes Champagne scion Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger (in a passage culled from a pseudo-advertorial post on Drinks Business).

    “Champagne is not only a wine but a symbol of love and generosity and if we forget that we are dead, and I am fighting that,” [Taittinger] stated.

    Continuing, he referred to a battle with “marketers” who, he said, “want us to drink Champagne in a wine glass.”

    “But we have a specific glass…”

The Taittinger quote brought to mind the infamous statement by Frederic Rouzaud of Cristal from a few years ago: we can’t stop them from drinking it…

It’s been many years since I’ve served Champagne or any other sparkling wine in a flute. In fact, I don’t even own any flutes: in my view and experience, the flute is the worst possible glass to serve any wine in because it obstructs the wine’s aroma, especially when your drinking a Pinot Noir-based wine that can tend toward the tannic and tight (we’ve even begun decanting certain sparkling wines at our house).

Above: The Lago d’Iseo in Franciacorta. I still need to post my notes from some of the interesting tastings I attended in Franciacorta in October. The photo, above, of the Lago d’Iseo gives you a sense of the Morainic subsoil and the maritime climate that give the wines their minerality and make them so fresh. Click the image for the hi-res version.

How do you serve sparkling wine at your house?

On the seventh night of Chanukah, my true love gave to me…

I know I promised that I wouldn’t post until after the New Year, but last night’s dinner was just too good not to share…

Above: Damn, that girl can cook! Tracie B fries up some latkes in her grandmother’s cast-iron skillet.

On the seventh night of Chanukah (click for HebCal link), Nous Non Plus’ film and television licensing agent and my good friend Michael came over last night with his girlfriend Jessica for Tracie B’s latkes, brisket, kasha, and roast broccoli.

Tracie B fried the latkes in her grandmother’s cast-iron skillet. Click here for the recipe she used.

My only contribution was a sour cream and horseradish sauce. We paired with a bottle of Taittinger La Française, courtesy Jessica and Michael.

Her brisket was oh-so good, melt-in-your-mouth-tender, with sides of kasha and roast broccoli. Who knew I’d find the cure for Jewish boy stomach in Austin Texas? We paired with Bruno Colin 2005 Maranges La Fussière 1er Cru Rouge, good although the wood was far from integrated. Tracie B suggested decanting with good results.

Stove-top roasted chestnuts for dessert. An Italian touch on a chilly eve.

Next year I doubt I’ll be spending Chanukah in Santa Monica but I do love the song: