NV Majolini "Altèra" Franciacorta Rosé ©Kevin Day/Opening a Bottle
NV Majolini Franciacorta Rosé ©Kevin Day/Opening a Bottle

A Thanksgiving Wine Ode to the Party-Starter

300 Words (Or So) on Franciacorta and Snitching

3 min read

Snitching is a time-honored holiday tradition. How could it not be when so many intoxicating smells permeate the kitchen on feast day? Each Thanksgiving, my father was the Snitcher-in-Chief. Not in terms of the volume of food he’d consume from the countertop, but rather the production he’d make of his snitching.

The kernel of stuffing he’d pinch from the pile as it cooled?

“Don’t tell Mom,” he’d wink.

The slab of dark meat that fell off the tray as he carved the bird?

“Let’s just give this an inspection,” he’d say, popping it in his mouth before slicing off another.

Something has to get the party started, and for me, that wine has a wire cage holding everything in place, waiting for release.

Now I am that father. Snitching is my game. Throughout Thanksgiving afternoon, I’m snacking my way through the coming attractions. And carving the bird? That’s my job. Not because of my knife skills or some stupid “man of the house” aspiration. No. Because I’m good at inspections, you see. Quality control is very important … or something.

The big difference between me and my father is the glass of sparkling wine nearby, usually a traditional-method bubbly such as Franciacorta, whose salivary-triggering finish is wholly unnecessary. Thanksgiving has never been about wise decisions. It’s about feasting. Unrelenting flavor. Hedonism. Something has to get the party started, and for me, that wine has a wire cage holding everything in place, waiting for release. I never select anything too prestigious or showy (after all, my greasy fingers will likely tarnish the glass while I’m sipping and slicing … how unbecoming), and I also rarely open something that was tank-fermented, like Prosecco. No, I need that fresh-from-the-oven bread tone to complete the fresh-from-the-oven action surrounding me. And if I plan on carrying the wine through to the table, I make it a rosé for its slightly fuller body and richness.

NV Majolini “Altèra” Franciacorta Rosé

NV Majolini Franciacorta Rosé ©Kevin Day/Opening a BottleFranciacorta DOCG (Lombardy) 
Grapes: Pinot Nero (100%)
Alcohol: 12.5%
Opinion: ★★★★ 3/4 (out of five)
Food-friendliness: Versatile
Value: Very Good


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A beginner might like … this wine’s versatility at the table, which is not surprising since traditional-method sparkling wines are among the most food-friendly wines on earth. This wine’s high acidity and ample body make it perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday.

A wine obsessive might like … the Champagne similarities. Of course, this too, is nothing new, as Italy’s Franciacorta has modeled itself very closely after its more famous (and much, much larger) French colleague. But two factors shine in this rosé more than in most Franciacorta: the vines are rooted into nearly pure limestone, and that soil’s hallmark texture — which gives the wine incredible focus — is quite noticeable. Secondly, the long lees aging (32 months) gives this wine depth and richness to punctuate its brisk personality.


Note: This wine was provided as a sample. Learn more about our editorial policy.

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