We received the product for review and all opinions are our own.
It is definitely the time of year with the holidays and New Year’s Eve when it’s time to pop open a bubbly, and what better sparkling wine than a Texas wine? This time we review the first Messina Hof Winery & Resort Sparkling Spumante.
Last year, Messina Hof’s sparkling wines were made from the grape Blanc du Bois. Blanc du Bois has definitely found a great use in sparkling wines in Texas, and we have enjoyed every one we have had. This year, Messina Hof used 100% Texas grown Muscat Canelli to make their first sparkling Spumante.
What exactly is Spumante? Contrary to the similar sounding Asti Spumante from Piedmont of Italy, spumante simply means sparkling wine in Italian. Spumante does not identify the sweetness level or type of grapes used. Asti Spumante from Italy is made from the Moscato Bianco grape, and there we do have similarity. Called Moscato Bianco in Italy, the grape is called Muscat Canelli in Texas.
The making of the wine veers in a different direction though after the grape used. Secondary fermentation causes the bubbles in sparkling wine, and Asti Spumante uses secondary fermentation in pressurized, stainless steel tanks known as the Charmat method, and also known as the tank method. This process produces larger, coarser bubbles.
The method used by Messina Hof is the Méthode Traditionnelle, which is secondary fermentation inside the bottle. All French Champagne and most high-quality sparkling wine use this process. It is also known as Méthode Champenoise.
This is the technical information provided by Messina Hof:
- Messina Hof Spumante, Muscat Canelli Texas Sparkling Wine, 2015
- Blend: 100% Muscat Canelli
- Primary Fermentation: Stainless steel
- Secondary Fermentation: Bottle
- Brix at Harvest: 21°
- Residual Sugar: 3.0%
- Retail price at time of review: $25
Gloria and I admit that Muscat Canelli is one of our favorite wines to the nose, providing a beautiful floral aroma. Knowing the wine was Muscat Canelli, we were awaiting that delightful aroma. I popped open the bottle, and we were surprised we did not get the typical floral fragrance initially. In fact, it was a number of minutes before we finally received the Muscat bouquet.
The taste, however, did not elude us from being a Muscat Canelli. This is a semi-sweet wine, and even though we did taste just a hint of Muscat Canelli initially, the taste was very subtle. As time went on though, the peach and lemon notes of the wine were much stronger, perhaps as the wine warmed up too.
One thing we were surprised at was the amount of bubbles for this sparkling wine compared to other Texas sparkling wines we have had. Bubbles from other wines dissipate quickly, however, the Messina Hof Spumante kept roaring strong. We enjoyed the wine for many minutes and there were just as many bubbles in our glasses as when we first opened the bottle.
The Messina Hof Spumante would be good for any meal or occasion that calls for a sweeter sparkling wine. Besides enjoying the wine by itself as a porch sipper, it would pair well with meals such as spicy Asian dishes, fish, and creamy entrees (Fettuccini Alfredo anybody?). Desserts such as fresh fruit, fruit pies, or tarts would also pair wonderfully with the Messina Hof Spumante.