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High on the Vine: You literally need a crowbar to open this sparkling rosé from Slovenia
Super limited availability at Vine & Tap, Restaurant Eugene, H&F Bottle Shop
Unless you’re that guy, you probably aren’t drinking Champagne regularly. The drink of kings that dates back to the Roman Empire, Champagne is one of the few beverages of the world that carries an inherently special and celebratory significance. It’s also bloody expensive, which is why many turn to sparklers produced outside of Champagne. Cava from Spain, Prosecco from Italy, sparkling from California—they’ll all fine replacements coming out of well-known wine regions. But here’s something you don’t see every day: a sparkling rosé from Slovenia.
For context, there’s Champagne, and then there’s rosé Champagne, a rarer, more expensive style on an already expensive wine. Movia, an estate with vineyards that straddle Slovenia and Italy (Collio, specifically), recently released its 2005 Puro, a sparkling rosé made using only Pinot Noir grapes. It’s cool for three geeky reasons.
Geeky reason #1: It’s sparkling rosé from Slovenia (!).
Geeky reason #2: You have to open (degorge) the bottle underwater using a crowbar-like mechanism
Geeky reason #3: The lees—yeast cells used to ferment Champagne—are still in the bottle.
Typically, the lees are removed from the bottle once the fermentation process is complete. Winemakers then add a sugar mixture (called liqueur d'expédition) to determine the wine’s sweetness. In this case, the dead yeast cells are left in the bottle, a move that maintains the wine’s freshness. And fresh is exactly what this tastes like, bouncing off the walls with a feather-like fragility, ripe with bright cherry notes and effervescent with super fine bubbles.
There aren’t many bottle of Puro around town. It’s available by the bottle at Vine & Tap ($80) and Restaurant Eugene ($108) and available for retail purchase at the H&F Bottle Shop ($54). If you want to try this at home, watch this video on how to open it. It’s certainly the coolest and tastiest wine trick I’ve seen yet.