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An Afternoon of Wine Learning: Brachetto d' Acqui

Cindy of Grape Experiences is hosting this month's #ItalianFWT bloggers. You can read her invitation here. She's asked us to focus on Brachetto d'Acqui. If you're reading this early enough, feel free to join us for a live Twitter chat on Saturday, April 4th at 8am Pacific time. Follow the hashtag #ItalianFWT and be sure to use it if you chime in so that we can see what you're tweeting. In the meantime, here are the posts that will be live between Friday, April 3rd and early Saturday, April 4th.

Sweet bubbly wine doesn't really have a place in my home, until now.  My husband and I took a big risk in ordering this wine to eat with... fajitas!

But first, let's talk about this wine. Brachetto is a low alcohol bubbling wine made in the Piedmonte area of northern Italy.  The bottle we chose was a medium-sweet because we thought it would go well with spicy food. Cocchi Brachetto d'Acqui gave me big bursts of strawberries on the nose and on the palate. The bubbles kept it refreshing.  The finish is sweet, but not too much.

The grape is said to be native to the Piedmonte area although there is some speculation that the grape is actually French.  It is said that Marc Anthony presented Cleopatra with vinum acquense as a gift. Cleopatra herself believed the wine had the power to "unleash the passions of her lovers."

What brought me to the wine is the bubbles. Even though there are many styles of wine that produce bubbles, yet not all bubbles taste the same.

In Social Studies, in the 8th grade, I learned about different styles of climate, which I wasn't all that excited about until now, as I am learning about grapes.  The Brachetto is grown in a continental climate with both the Mediterranean and Alpine playing a part.  Cool winters, hot summers, mild spring, and fall.  This impacts the way the grape grows and when it ripens. Brachetto ripens early and has a high fragrance while growing.

There are different styles of Brachetto.  The "red" style has a ruby color, aromas of rose and strawberry and is a soft and sweet taste.  It's lightly fizzy.  The "sparkling" style mimics the red style in color and aroma but is considered creamy.  The fizz is extra brut.  The "passito" style is almost garnet in color.  Because the grapes are dried before pressing, some tasting notes include oak. The fizz is light and sweet.

For me, the best part is the variety of this wine with food pairings.  The Cocchi wine we chose was a medium sweetness, a medium fizz sparkling style.  First, we paired it with two strong kinds of cheese.  One crumbly cheddar cheese called Flory's Truckle and a goat cheese called Humboldt Fog. The bubbles enhanced both cheeses even though they are very different kinds of cheese.

Then we served the wine with classic chicken fajitas.  We made them extra spicy by adding in tajin, a Mexican spice we have loved since first traveling to Mexico 17 years ago.  The result was delicious, almost like drinking a soda with the meal, but much better.  The sweetness of the wine helps cut the spice so that the spices aren't overpowering.  It was a delightful experience.

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To learn more about Brachetto d'Acqui read the following articles below:
  • Susannah at Avvinare explores “Brachetto d’Acqui – A Treat from Piedmont”
  • Nicole at Somms Table is pairing “Marenco Pineto Brachetto d’Acqui and Simple Strawberry Treat”
  • Lynn at Savor the Harvest is ready to “Brighten Up Lockdown with Brachetto d’Acqui Sparkling Wine #ItalianFWT”
  • Jennifer at Vino Travels is enjoying “Brachetto: The Sweet Red Bubbly of Piedmont”
  • Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla is pairing “Stracotto di Manzo al Vino Rosso + Brachetto d’Acqui”
  • Gwendolyn at Wine Predator is pairing “Brachetto d’Acqui and Grandma’s Biscotti with Cherries Poached in Red Wine and Marscapone #ItalianFWT”
  • Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm is “Whiling Away the Time with Marenco Brachetto d’Acqui Pineto”
  • Jeff Burrows at Food Wine Click finds “Piemonte Brachetto: Sweet, Fizzy and Red!”
  • Terri at Our Good Life is spending “An Afternoon of Wine Learning: Brachetto d’Acqui”
  • Linda at My Full Wine Glass is “Bingeing on Brachetto, Biscotti, Berries and a Chocolate Bunny”
  • Marcia at Joy of Wine is exploring “Brachetto: The Sweetie of Piemonte”
  • Cindy at Grape Experiences plans to “Bring Joy to the Table with Brachetto d’Acqui and Budino al Cioccolato (Chocolate Pudding Italian Style)”

Would you like to comment?

  1. Terri, what a great afternoon. I, too, tried to pair my Brachetto with savories, but I was not as successful. Maybe I'll try again if I can get my hands on the bottle that you poured. It sounds perfect!

    1. I think the level of sweetness versus spice matters. I am heading over to your place now.

  2. This sounds good! I could really go for some wine and cheese right about now. I also love fajitas!

  3. I actually love sweet and bubbly wine. Served with fajitas? Oh, yes, please!

  4. COOL!! I love that you paired this with fajitas...spicy chicken tacos could work too? I'd gonna try!

  5. I don't know much about pairing wine with food, but I prefer spicy food and I love sweet wine! It sounds like the wine you chose paired perfectly with your food. Perhaps I would enjoy dryer wines if I paired them with the right food too.

  6. Oh now this sounds interesting. I have no idea about wine, let alone how you pair it - but it is such a good idea as something to spend sometime learning.

  7. Wine and cheese are my favorite snack, treat or meal. Prefer the dry wines and sharp cheese.

  8. A nice experience you had Terri. My hubby would approve of fajitas and Brachetto, a fan of spicy latino food. Looks like you found the perfect level of spice in your pairing, cheers to that!

  9. I enjoyed learning about the different styles of Brachetto. I think I'd prefer the light and sweet fizz over the extra brut.

  10. Everything looks good and I must say, those would be the perfect goodies to serve on a date night in. -LYNNDEE

  11. Kita Bryant1:50 PM

    That looks like such a great way to spend the afternoon. I could use a break like that.

  12. That looks delicious food, with good glass of wine. I am not that much into the pairing. but sure love enjoy good wine and some food.

  13. I'm glad the pairing worked so nicely for you. Your fajitas look wonderful

  14. I love Italian wines! They are the best! Thanks for telling about this one. Brachetto is new for me!

  15. This looks like so much fun! I have never taken a wine class. Looks delicious!

  16. Definitely can see how spicy fajitas would pair well with this sweet wine. Must try this sometime.

  17. This post made me hungry. I love Humboldt Fog and I can absolutely see this working beautifully with the wine. At first, I admit I was skeptical at the idea of fajitas and Brachetto. Then you mentioned you kicked up the heat and it piqued my interest. Then you mentioned the addition of Tajin (which I love) and now I think I'm absolutely going to have to try this!

  18. Glad to have you join our group and try something new. I was just thinking of fajitas lately.

  19. I'm glad you found something super spicy to contrast with the sweet wine, cool!

  20. Ahhh, fajitas and those spices are terrific matches to the sweet, bubbly Brachetto! You chose some good cheeses, too, and I'll remember those. Cheers!


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