Ribolla Gialla Spumante in Friuli and its Pairing with Food
Credit for the production of the first sparkling wine in Friuli Venezia Giulia goes to Rino Russolo, who ran the Piave Isonzo estate (now Tenuta Villanova). This wine was produced in both dry and sweet versions. In the former case, two varieties were considered to be of best quality: Ribolla Gialla and Malvasia Istriana. The sweet sparkling wine was instead produced from Moscato Rosa d’Istria and called Lacryma Christi.
The production method employed was and still is Charmat-Martinotti, which uses large pressure tanks.
The characteristics of sparkling Ribolla Gialla
Ribolla Gialla is distinguished by its delicate yet elegant nose and a sensation of freshness on both the nose and palate. With a lively, dynamic body, it normally has a low alcohol content, making it very drinkable.
Pairing Ribolla Gialla with food: some suggestions
The sparkling version of Ribolla Gialla maintains an extremely pleasing freshness that makes it a good match for fatty or oily foods. It is ideal when paired with delicate vegetable and fish appetizers, and is worth trying with marinated dishes.
Fried battered vegetables is an interesting Italian-style appetizer that goes perfectly with sparkling Ribolla Gialla, which manages to keep the greasiness at bay, cleansing the palate thanks to its acidity and carbon dioxide, but also displaying the necessary length.
With fish appetizers, such as salmon trout on a bruschetta of organic bread with a veil of butter, Ribolla Gialla manages to hold its own against the richness of the food while respecting its delicate aromas.
A great challenge for any wine are dishes which involve marinating. The acidity of lemon or vinegar tends to emphasize the acidity of the wine, effectively preventing any harmonious combination. If lemon or vinegar is a major source of flavour in the dish, but there are other ingredients capable of mitigating their acidity or sour taste, the wine has a good chance of accompanying the dish effectively.
For example, the onions in sarde in saor (a typical Venetian dish of sardines in a sweet and sour sauce), or the bread crostini served with marinated fish, give a helping hand to the Ribolla, as long as it is well-rounded and the fizz is well-integrated with the other components of the wine, so that it is caressing on the palate.
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Maria Cristina Pugnetti
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