Review: How I enjoyed six delicious sparkling wines from 8Wines

I don’t know about you, but there’s something special about opening a bottle of sparkling wine, especially a nice one. 

You don’t pop a cork on a fancy Prosecco or a bottle of Champagne on an average Monday. But you do enjoy a chilled glass when celebrating a special occasion, spending time with friends, or just to mark the welcome end of a busy week. And there’s always something wonderfully anticipatory about easing the cork out of a bottle, and hearing the welcome pop. 

Over the years, my tastes in wine have changed. When I was younger it was pretty much anything I could afford. My dad, much to the horror of the rest of our family, still buys wine based on the lowest price and highest alcoholic content. It’s got to the point where we refuse to share nice wine with him as it’s a waste!

Today, I prefer to spend a bit more money on my wine. I drink less often, but enjoy a higher quality bottle of wine when I do. 

So when 8Wines asked if they could send me a case of their sparkling wines to try, I was delighted. I am always looking to discover new wines, and this was the perfect opportunity to sample six different wines I hadn’t tried before. 

Coming just before Mother’s Day, Easter and a weekend away with friends, it was also perfect timing as I had plenty of people to share the wines with too. 

Six bottles of sparkling wine from 8Wines

Opening the box when it was arrived was like unwrapping a very lovely present. I had no idea what was inside, and the bottles were beautiful. Some were even wrapped in delicate tissue paper. 

The six Italian sparkling wines inside were:

Here’s how I enjoyed them. 

Mother’s Day – Uberti Franciacorta Saten Magnificentia

My sister and mother in law joined us for lunch on Mother’s Day, so I opened the Uberti Franciacorta Saten Magnificentia to share. I prefer a Chardonnay grape in sparkling wine, so this Franciacorta, crafted from 100% Chardonnay, was perfect for me. 

It is described as a “full-bodied sparkling wine with intense notes of almonds, brioche and toast as well as citrus and white flowers.” The wine is made using the champenois method (the same process used for making Champagne), and is fermented in oak barrels and then aged on the lees in the bottle for 36 months. 

Luckily for me, my mother in law and sister were driving so only had a glass, leaving me a glass leftover for Monday evening while I was preparing dinner. Definitely not your average Monday evening wine!

Girls weekend – Derbusco Cives Franciacorta Doppio Erre Di Brut and Antica Fratta Franciacorta Brut

Towards the end of March I went away for the weekend with two friends, so took the Derbusco Cives Franciacorta Doppio Erre Di Brut and Antica Fratta Franciacorta Brut with me. 

These both went down well. I have to admit, I took the Derbusco Cives Franciacorta Doppio Erre Di Brut partly because I loved the shape of the bottle. It is described as having a “bouquet of white fruits, white flowers, lime and liquorice. It is a vibrant yellow straw colour, with hints of gold and delicate perlage.” It made the perfect Friday evening, relaxing while enjoying the view, drink. 

We saved the Antica Fratta Franciacorta Brut for before dinner on the Saturday. It is described as having “fine bubbles and attractive citrus and stone fruit aromas”, which “make this an excellent aperitif or accompaniment to seafood, salads, and fish dishes.” And it certainly lived up to the description.

Easter weekend – Corte Aura Franciacorta Rose and Castello Bonomi Franciacorta Dosage Zero 2013

I travelled to Devon to see my parents and family at Easter, and with the weather forecast looking sunny, I took the Corte Aura Franciacorta Rose and Castello Bonomi Franciacorta Dosage Zero 2013.

We enjoyed the Corte Aura Franciacorta Rose on the Saturday afternoon with the first BBQ of the year. My sister, mum and brother in law shared it with me, while my dad stuck to his £3.99, 12% wine from a cheap supermarket. (Like I said, we don’t bother sharing good wines with him…)

This rose spends at least 40 months on the lees to add finesse and body. It is described as “a charming bouquet of wild red fruits like freshly picked raspberry, ripe strawberry and light skinned cherries. A citrusy grapefruit pops out with restrained meyer lemon that is finished with a toasty note of nuts and brioche.”

I can tell you that it perfectly accompanies the late afternoon/early evening Devonshire sun, sat overlooking the rocky coastline from my parent’s garden.

We saved the Castello Bonomi Franciacorta Dosage Zero 2013 for Easter Sunday, after a beach walk with the children and dog. It certainly made a lovely, refreshing pre-lunch drink. Equal parts of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the finest juice is extracted gently, then fermented separately (the Chardonnay is fermented in small oak barrels for eight months, and the Pinot in steel tanks for eight months). 

The wine then undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle, with 50 months of ageing on the lees. The result is a “crisp, refreshing sparkling wine with a bright acidity and refined citrus fruit and orchard fruit notes.” I can report that it also pairs perfectly with Easter eggs. 

My birthday – Berlucchi 61 Franciacorta Nature 2014

There’s one more bottle left – the Berlucchi 61 Franciacorta Nature 2014. According to 8Wines, I can cellar this for up to nine years before serving chilled, but I am going to save this for my birthday in May.

This sparkling wine is described as “an opulent, richly-flavoured sparkling wine which is bursting with orchard fruits, sweet brioche and toasted almonds. The complex, multi-layered flavour profile makes this great as a celebratory aperitif or accompaniment to a fine dinner.”

That sounds like the perfect match for my birthday evening, celebrating with my husband, children and friends. 

Sparkling wine is made for memories

To me, wine is so much more than just a drink. It represents something; a celebration with people you love, relaxing on holiday, or marking the end of a busy week. 

I love the entire ritual of wine too – buying it (anticipating the good times you will have with it), storing it, choosing which bottle to open, chilling it, opening it, pouring it and drinking it. 

Special wines, like these delicious Italian sparkling wines from 8Wines mean even more. They help you mark an occasion, and are part of the memories you will make and treasure. 

When I look back at the occasions I described above – Mother’s Day, the weekend away, Easter and my birthday – I will remember the people I spent them with, the fun we had, and the joy at sharing a special bottle of wine with them. 

Who are 8Wines?

This case of wine was generously sent by 8Wines in return for an article about them. 

8Wines use their specialist knowledge to source a unique range of styles and flavours from across the globe. Instead of attempting to stock every single variety on the market, they offer a hand-picked collection that has something for everyone. 

The founders started out sourcing delicious wines for their family and friends, and the company has grown from there. They get a kick out of delivering hard-to-find wines, and are particularly proud of their premium US wines and extensive and unique New World selection. 

Lovers of Italian wines, like the sparkling wines they sent us, will also find plenty to choose from, at extremely competitive prices. 

8Wines deliver all over Europe, and across the USA and Canada, and have been awarded Gold medals from Wine-Searcher five years in a row for their wine selection. 

If you’d like to choose a wine for a special occasion, or just to unwind and celebrate a good day’s work, you can browse 8Wines’ range of wines here