- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Banfi, Brachetto d’Acqui “Rosa Regale,” 2005, $26

Indigenous to Piedmont in northern Italy, brachetto is a peculiar red grape. While it makes some dry, still wines, it more often is used to fashion sweet, sparkling wines. Brachetto tastes vividly of strawberries and raspberries and is one of the very few unfortified wines in the world that pairs well with chocolate. So a glass or two will be just right this evening when you’re with your valentine.

Sparkling brachetto is a specialty of the city of Acqui Terme, and the best examples carry the designation “Brachetto d’Acqui.” Some come only barely fizzy, while others are downright frothy.

Banfi’s “Rosa Regale” falls somewhere in between. Bright and lively, it also has genuine depth of flavor. While sweet, it tastes substantial, which explains why it works so well at dessert.

With its vibrant red color and stream of small bubbles, this wine even looks romantic. Try it with any sort of dark chocolate dessert, the richer the better. The match will be lovely.

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