Spumante: Your Guide To The Italian Sparkling Wine
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A type of Italian sparkling wine, Spumante can be made from any grape variety and in any region of the country. It can also be made using either the Charmat Method or the Classic Champenoise Method. The English translation of the Italian word ‘Spumante’ is ‘sparkling wine’. To put Spumante into your bottle of Italian sparkling wine, you don’t need to have grown it in a specific region, with a specific grape variety, or even use a specific fermentation technique. As long as it was grown and produced in Italy, you can put Spumante on your label. Even Prosecco bottles can bear the Spumante identification.

The range of Spumante

Technically speaking, Spumante is a subcategory of wine rather than a single variety of wine. Its flavour is influenced by the type of grapes used, the area, and how long the wine has been aged or fermented. Producers further divide Spumante into groups based on the amount of sugar in it, which also affects how it tastes. 

Here are the six sweetness tiers of Spumante:

1. Extra brut

With sugar contents ranging from 0 gm per litre to about 6 gm per litre, these sparkling wines are the least sweet. Although the word ‘brut’ implies ‘dry’, it actually refers to the absence of sweetness rather than moisture.

2. Brut

A dry sparkling wine that is sweeter (less dry) than extra brut, brut spumante has fewer than 12 gm of sugar per litre. A still white wine with the same amount of sugar will taste sweeter than a sparkling wine with less sugar.

3. Extra dry

12-17 gm of sugar are found in every litre of sparkling wine with an extra dry label. Despite being dry, it has a higher level of sweetness than brut and extra brut Spumantes.

4. Dry

Dry sparkling wines are those with 17-32 gm of sugar per litre. Dry Spumante tastes like sweet apricots, which are sweet yet have a slight astringency on the tongue.

5. Demi-sec

Demi-sec, or ‘semi-dry’, refers to a sweet Spumante. Demi-sec champagne is the perfect beverage for fans of sweet wines because it often has a high residual sugar content (33 gm to 50 gm per litre).

6. Doux

The sweetest Spumante is called Doux Spumante. Typically, it has more than 50 gm of residual sugar per litre. This much sugar turns into a treat in itself. Despite being simpler to manufacture, Doux Spumante is hard to acquire these days because drier varieties like Brut Champagne are so well-liked. However, sweet sparkling wine has a place in every situation.

How to serve Spumante?

Usually served on its own, either before or after a meal. It is frequently feasted in the afternoon with cheeses, crackers, and other small snacks. Although finer types and more expensive bottles are frequently served out in fluted glasses similar to champagne, Italians typically sip it from standard wine glasses. The bubbles grow more concentrated as the flute’s opening gets smaller, and some people think the taste also becomes more concentrated.