On the table next to us at the glamorous World Boutique Hotel Awards, Francisco Seresina, owner of the sublime Villa Sostaga on Lake Garda, shared his insider knowledge, “Good Italian sparkling wine is from Franciacorta and also Trento.” Yes, “The point is these sparkling wines are made from the Champagne method. They take from 24 months to 10 years to mature whereas Prosecco is very quick. The best ways of making sparkling wine are the Champagne method by French inventors or the Martinotti method by Italian inventors.”
When pushed, Signor Seresina confided, “My favourite wine depends on the period of the year. There’s a perfect wine for many different moments. Italy has the largest variety of indigenous wines in the world. There’s life after Chardonnay and Merlot! Italy is geographically a very long country with mountains and seas which allow for many different wines in varying soil expositions.” Franciacorta is a small wine producing area in Lombardy, northern Italy.
Jan Konetzki steps in: “The general perception of rosé is not very serious. A copperish colour isn’t good. But the more vibrant colour rosé is, the more it merits attention. Rosé Rare Millésime Champagne 2008 is the best.” He adds, “And some of the finest French wines are from Northern Rhône.” Jan should know. Based in London, he’s one of the world’s leading sommeliers, on speed dial to triple Michelin star Chefs Clare Smyth and Anne-Sophie Pic. We’re chatting to him in the latter’s eponymous restaurant in our favourite Four Seasons Tower Hill.
Later, Maud Rabin, Global Director of Rare Champagne, the world’s most expensive and exclusive bubbly, will smile over drinks with us in the eternally divine Hôtel Meurice, “C’est la vie! That’s what we say in Paris. We always mean it in a positive way. Rosé Rare Millésime Champagne 2008 is a thrilling vintage. June and July of that year were very cool before favourable weather returned in August. Warm dry days and cool nights continued through to the mid September harvest, resulting in Champagne with great finesse and ageing potential.” Now is a good time for the lengthily refined Franicacorta Ca’del Bosco from the Vintage Collection Satèn 2015 en plage. Isn’t it always?