For Valentine’s day, my wife and I went out to to celebrate our first outing since the birth of our daughter exactly two months ago. The few proper restaurants in the town were either closed or completely booked, but we were lucky enough to get a table after a last minute cancellation at the les Louvières restaurant [website] in the middle of the Jura forest!
First time here and we were pleasantly surprised. The setting was stylish and romantic while remaining cozy (the building is an old farmhouse) and the food was great with a clearly gastronomic touch in both the flavors and the presentation. To top it all off, this fine dining establishment prides itself on its very international wine list and so I took this opportunity to revisit a Brazilian sparkling wine by Miolo.
Located in the Vale dos Vinhedos (Brazil’s only official regional appellation), the Miolo winery itself is quite impressive, dominated by a tall yellow tower sporting the well established name.
If it sounds a bit Italian, that’s because this region with the city of Bento Gonçalves at its heart, was primarily inhabited by Italian immigrants who brought the culture of wine along with them. As a matter of fact, many people here still speak Italian and the landscape is more reminiscent of Tuscany than São Paulo or Rio!
Miolo Brut Sparkling
This méthode traditionnelle* sparkler is a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir aged for 18 months in bottle. This translates to a nice complexity of aromas which one could mistake for Champagne, albeit in a fruitier rather than mineral style.
On the palate, the bubbles are very elegant and the rather full texture is very pleasant and approachable. While I personally tend to prefer a more biting acidity, this bottle was actually better adapted to accompany my veal dish than a more electric Champagne might have been.
Most importantly, it matched the mood of the evening: After all the craziness and excitement of parenthood, we needed a quiet, comfortable break alone to relax and really just enjoy each other. The Miolo felt almost appeasing with just the right amount of sparkle for a perfect Valentine’s evening.
*méthode traditionelle, formerly known as the méthode champenoise, is a sparkling wine fabrication process in which a second fermentation is initiated in the bottle. The CO2 gas which results from this fermentation is thus trapped, creating the tiny bubbles which we love so much in our Champagne.