"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more champagne." John Maynard Keynes
While there is certainly no dearth of restaurants in Sirmione, we were now looking for something special. At every restaurant, we stopped to read the menu. Finally, we reached the end of the peninsula where the swans were entertaining the tourists, or perhaps the tourists were entertaining the swans. It certainly was not clear from watching the interaction. Our dog, Luca, found them interesting, but reason overshadowed his curiosity (unlike some of the tourists) and he had no desire to get too close.
Enough about the food, let's talk about the Franciacorta. I must admit that I was prepared to not like it. I am not really a huge fan of most French champagne, and I thought Franciacorta might have the same overpowering yeasty taste. Ah, is it naivety; have I fallen prey to the advertising campaign, " Franciacorta is the Italian Champagne"? Some say the name Franciacorta even means little France. We ordered a bottle of Montenisa Franciacorta Brut which is a Marchese Antonori wine. The Montenisa estate is located in the heart of the Franciacorta DOCG, south of Lake Iseo in the Lombardy region. In 1999, the Marchese Antinori and Conti Maggi families partnered to manage the estate and produce Franciacorta. This Franciacorta is a DOCG wine fermented partly in stainless steel and partly in barriques with a second fermentation in the bottle for a minimum of 30 months. It is composed of Chardonnay, Pinot bianco, and a very little bit of Pinot nero. Our waiter arrived with the bottle, popped the cork, and I watched with anticipation as the Franciacorta cascaded into the glass.
The Montenisa Franciacorta Brut is available at multiple sellers in the United States for around $30.00 per bottle. Check out wine-searcher.com to find it in your area. It's a keeper.
For more information on the Montenisa Winery, visit their website at http://www.montenisa.it