April 19, 2022 5 min read
The aperitif has become a real ritual! On Friday evening, it celebrates the end of the working week, on Saturday morning, it is nice to enjoy it outdoors, perhaps in the market square, on Saturday evening it is a real must... and then maybe even on Monday evening, there are those who allow themselves to celebrate the heroic overcoming of the dreaded first day of the week! Whether it is enjoyed at the bar, in the setting of an elegant lounge or on the balcony of the house, the aperitif (from the Latin 'aperitivus' "which opens", or stimulates the feeling of appetite) is an appointment now well rooted in our habits and is ... loved by all!
If in the past the aperitif presented an elitist fashion, and cocktails were consumed quite challenging cosmopolitan character (such as Bloody Mary, Campari or whiskey on the rocks), nowadays for the occasion are preferred drinks such as Aperol Spritz, Hugo, Negroni etc. ... but especially Wines by the glass: tend to be less alcoholic, expensive and challenging than cocktails consumed in the past. The question arises...
There are those who answer 'bubbles forever!' and indeed, at the top of the list we find the Sparkling Wine in all its versions. From Prosecchi and Franciacorta produced in the nearby peninsula, to the very famous Champagne in the blanc or rosé versions, to the 'new' Spumanti produced in Trento, truly appreciated by connoisseurs. Bubbles are pleasantly fresh, light and aromatic. Just the ritual of opening the bottle, the foam that is released in the glass and the bubbles that inebriate all senses give a festive and carefree touch to the aperitif.
Of course, there is also the hard core of those who are fond of the White Wine: as a matter of fact, not everyone loves the effervescence of perlage... in this case, to accompany appetizers served during happy hour, are sipped glasses having a fresh, floral, fruity and fragrant bouquet or dry, sapid and persistent wines, maybe even barrique wines. The most loved grapes are Chardonnay, Sauvignon, as well as some rarities such as Merlot vinified in white, Sémillon and Chasselais.
A new trend is to also sip the Rosé Wine which distinguish themselves for the versatility in the matching and for the elegance of their tones: well structured just like red wines and at the same time refreshing just like white nectars. And whether they were once considered as a second category (almost as if they were red wines mixed to white wines or even red wine made out of water), actually rose wines have a particular identity defined by a type of processing different from the other two types of wine: the coloring substances of skins are partially extracted in order to limit the coloration.
The Red Wine remains the indisputable protagonist during aperitifs, with dinner and even during after dinner! Whether it is a matter of lighter and younger red wines, more refreshing and easy to drink, or more aged nectars, maybe barrique wines, more full bodied, richer and with more persistence, it is certain red wine lovers have a vast choice: from the most traditional grapes such as Barbera, Nebbiolo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, to the less common ones such as Arinarnoa, Petit Verdot or Ciliegiolo. Every region has its peculiarities to be discovered.
Does a 100% Merlot sparkling wine exist? Not only does it exist, but it is also pleasantly inebriating and capable of dissolving every thought from the very first sip! The aroma is delicate, fruity and fragrant and the taste is very intense. Its name is Charme Rosé Spumante Brut Ticino DOC: a persistent perlage all to be discovered, maybe in combination with some Zincarlin with mountain honey.
Do you prefer a more classic blend, such as Chardonnay with Pinot Noir vinified with a long fermentation in autoclave on yeasts for more than 30 months? Opt for some Noir Sparkling Brut Ticino DOC: a very fine perlage heralds a fresh scent of citrus, yeast and fresh and fragrant bread crust. On the palate it is fresh, decisive, fine, sapid and elegant with a good aromatic persistence: one taste and you will understand why it has also won several awards... Excellent with Swiss caviar served on blinis completed with a drop of sour cream.
A blend to be sipped in joy? If you like dry, savory and intense flavors, you could try wine made from a blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon, with a fresh, fruity and fragrant bouquet: Apocalisse Bianco del Ticino DOC. The very pleasant ally of breadsticks, olives and parmesan flakes.
An unusual treat? Some nectar produced with Merlot grapes vinified in white: Chiar Di Luna White Merlot Ticino DOC. The flavor is dry, savory, intense and persistent, with a taste of lime blossom and white peach. A flavor that is well suited for light-hearted and refreshing toasts during Happy Hour... perhaps to the tune of bites of smoked Lake Maggiore trout served on cubes of toasted polenta.
Its seductive bright pink dress puts us in a good mood from the first moment and the soul enters a state of relaxation... if the idea appeals to you, sip on some Rosa di Luna Rosé Ticino DOC. Vinified by soft-pressing the grapes of the Merlot, Gamaret and Carminoir varietals, using the first flower of the must fermented at low temperature. The intense, fruity aroma of red berries is followed by a delicate, fragrant taste of raspberries and currants. Excellent with Lostallo salmon, on buttered pieces of rye bread.
For an aperitif during summer nights, maybe tasted in the frame of a picturesque grotto in Ticino, we could enjoy the rustic wine that be represents the local tradition: Rosso di Luna Merlot Ticino DOC. A product of the territory, young and light, ideal if paired with a mixed board of cold cuts and cheeses.
Those who like more body and are looking for a flavor full of character, persistent, dry, fine and vinous at the same time, could toast with some Momò Merlot Ticino DOC, a wine produced with Merlot grapes from the hills of Mendrisiotto, with a long maceration and aging in oak barrels for 12 months. Good with some slices of Prosciutto di Piora.
To be enveloped by a rich and full flavor with gritty and at the same time elegant tannins, spicy, voluminous with fresh and mentholated aromatic notes, persistent and harmonious, a glass of Diamante Rosso Ticino DOC could present the perfect solution. A blend of five different grapes (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot) dried for 3-4 weeks and then vinified with subsequent aging in barrels of the finest French oak for 16 months. Sip this nectar in a nice wide glass and accompany it with morsels of Alpe di Piora cheese aged for 24 months, served with dark bread and a few slices of lard seasoned with a little bit of pepper of Vallemaggia... small things that will make your aperitifs even more enjoyable.