Wine and Opera: The Perfect Combo

The wine and La Scala are both pinnacles of class and elegance

Last month’s opening night at Milan’s La Scala might not have been the shimmering evening of musical perfection that the theater (or those venturing from far and near to witness its legendary performance) was hoping for. Both the lead and the understudy were struck with  the flu, forcing a less than ideal situation for the theater as its expecting patrons. However, some would argue that the Opera’s 2012-2013 opening night on December 7 had a flair that rivals those during which the chills-inducing performance comes together in flawlessness harmony – thanks to one element that stole the show.

It was described by Italian blogger as “The philosophy of this one cuvée can be perfectly synthesized in two words: equilibrium and harmony. The notes of its presentation speak of pure music and a symphonyreaching a harmonious peak of excellence” – words that are easily associated with the spectacular La Scala. Yet this time, they are directed towards a bubbly, shimmering drink: Bellavista’s 2004 Franciacorta Extra Brut Riserva Vittorio Moretti.

THE wine…Bellavista’s 2004 Franciacorta Extra Brut Riserva Vittorio Moretti
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In fact, this bottle was so destined to hog the spotlight, that I wouldn’t be surprised if the two leads faked sick so as not to be upstaged by a container of liquid. Already part of the esteemed family of Franciacorta wines (whose loyal followings will argue for days about its superiority to Champagne), its grapes – 57% Chardonnay and 43% Pinot Nero – were harvested in the fall of 2004, a year which holds substantial significance for Milan‘s La Scala, who had been undergoing intense renovations beforehand and revealed its new self on December 7 that year.

It’s isn’t just that were the grapes harvested from nearby Erbusco the fall before the rebirth of the great Opera theater on December 7, 2004  – these grapes were the product of a grape harvest that is said to be of the highest quality in years. The producers were so pleased with the grapes that they deemed the wine Vittorio Moretti and for the next eight years, molded the Italian Franciacorta, a sparkling wine produced in the Classic Method that is argued to rival France’s lofty Champagne. This year, the Vittorio Moretti Franciacorta was not uncorked until La Scala’s opening night – an elegant wine fit for the grandiose theater.

Italian sparkling wine is light, fresh, and elegant.

The wine is a shimmering straw color, with delicate bubbles and fresh bursts of aroma. Much like other Italian wines, it is the essence of the earth from which it comes – and, as I mentioned before, it just so happens to come from an area near most famous Italian opera theaters. So here’s an idea: if you want to recreate the light, energy, and magnificence that is La Scala, pick up a bottle of 2004 Franciacorta Extra Brut Riserva Vittorio Moretti. Or if you want to recreate the transcendent experience of drinking a bottle of 2004 Franciacorta Extra Brut Riserva Vittorio Moretti, grab a few tickets La Scala, whose season is in full swing and like the wine, leaves no room for disappointment.


 Ever had a bottle of Franciacorta (is it better than Champagne)? Been to La Scala? Let us know!



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