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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.

OK, I admit it. I watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I watch it for some mindless, vapid fun. But, recently I was annoyed by a story line that took place. One of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills had the other women over to her house and rosé wine was accidentally served in a Champagne flute.

Another of the housewives, Dorit, proceeded to make a big deal about this mistake, embarrassing the host. Dorit arrogantly stated, “The fact that I know a wine glass from a Champagne glass is etiquette” and that she feels “like it needs to go in the right glass.”

Well, the reality star needs to know what the right glass is, and it is not a Champagne flute. While the Champagne flutes are synonymous with sparkling wine, ask most sommeliers and they will tell you the same thing. Nathaniel Munoz, wine director of the Rose Café in Venice, California explained, “Champagne has a gorgeous complexity of aromatics from red apple, to golden raisins, to chalk, to rich marzipan and milk chocolate. Restricting those notes because someone thinks it's fancy to watch carbonation bubbles float to the top of the glass just seems uneducated.”

Maurizio Zanella, founder of Ca’ del Bosco, one of Italy’s foremost Franciacorta producers, offers five reasons why we should never use a Champagne flute.

This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
If I ask you to think about sparkling wine, Champagne will most likely be the first to come to mind. If I ask you to think about sparkling wine from Italy, you will most likely think Prosecco. But, I am here to encourage you to think about Franciacorta, not just when talking about Italian sparkling wine, but when thinking about sparkling wine in general.
Franciacorta is a hidden gem located in Lombardy, just a short drive from Milano, in northern Italy. The first sparkling wines in the area were produced in 1961 and Franciacorta became the fifth DOC in Italy in 1967.
Franciacorta is a small region with 2,800 hectares, compared to Champagne, which has 35,000 hectares. A valley surrounded by mountains, Franciacorta, consisting of 19 communes, is made up of stony hills and calcareous soils.
The diurnal shifts in the temperature, which varies at least 18 degrees between the maximum and minimum temperatures, enable the grapes to ripen while maintaining their acidity and freshness. The climate results in more consistent vintages than not.
There are no cooperatives in Franciacorta and it is the most self-imposed regulated region in Italy. Franciacorta has changed the rules seven times, each time raising the bar even higher for the region. The process is controlled from the vineyard through production. At 9.5 tons per hectare, they have the lowest yields for any sparkling wine area.