Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wine from my collection: Puro Rose

Yes, that bottle is meant to be upside-down.

Movia Puro Rose is a sparking rose wine, made on the border of Slovenia and Italy. It's stored upside-down because its yeasts have never been disgorged.

This bottle, if you can find it, is a perfect conversation piece for a party.

See, when champagne/sparkling wine is made, the winemakers first make a still white wine. Then they put that still wine in bottles and add yeast and sugars. The yeast eats the sugar, creating carbon dioxide, which is trapped in the bottle--that's what creates the bubbles in champagne.

Normally, the bottles are then turned, slowly pulling all the yeast down into the neck of the bottle, into a plug that can be disgorged. The yeast plug shoots out, the winemaker tops off the bottle with a little more grape juice and sugar, and reseals it, leaving the bubbles intact.

But the Puro Rose was never disgorged. That yeast plug was still in there.

For last weekend's dinner party, I got a bottle. (Courtesy of my restaurant, which allows me to buy the wine off their list at cost. This bottle was not in fact on the wine list--it was brought in for a special occasion dinner a few weeks ago, and they graciously allowed me to purchase one of the leftover bottles. Trust me, this stuff is not easy to find.) It comes in a sleeve, which allows you to keep it upside down, keeping that yeast plug intact.

To open it, obviously you have to disgorge the yeast plug. There's a heavy metal clamp holding the cork in;  you'll need a screwdriver or something to pry it off. But be careful--the INSTANT that metal clamp is pried off, the cork will shoot out and you'll have a fountain of expensive sparkling rose all over your floor. Be sure to have enough presence of mind to pull the bottle upright immediately.

I got a fair amount all over my floor, but it was quite a show. The wine itself was lovely--deep, complex, faintly bready. Definitely the best sparkling anything I've ever had. (Which, granted, is not an especially wide category.)

And getting wine all over my living room was never so much fun.

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