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Emilia—the western part of the Emilia-Romagna region—specializes in fizzy wines. Whether they are white, red, or some shade in between, made from any number of intriguing indigenous grape varieties, they all tend to bubble. As it turns out, crisp, quaffable frizzanti are the perfect match for the notoriously rich local culinary specialties. Thin slices of cured pig, pastas coated in slow-cooked, meaty ragù, and cheeses ranging from creamy to intensely savory all have their place on the Emilian table. This dry sparkler from the white Pignoletto grape— a breezy blast of flowers, citrus, and fresh herbs—is just the ticket to cleanse the palate and quench your thirst when a heaping pile of locally produced cheeses and salty cured meats appears before you.
Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch