Spoiler alert: If this is your first Brachetto d'Acqui, you will never forget it and it won't be your last. It is named after a town in Piedmont called Acqui Terme that was founded by the Romans. It is also said that it is what was served to Anthony by Cleopatra back in 41 BC. With that kind of story, who wouldn't want a taste?
What is so interesting about Brachetto is that everybody who tastes it, loves it. It's a guarantee. Yet, it has nowhere near the fame of its white counterpart, Moscato d'Asti, which is a favorite all over the world.
Brachetto is made almost exactly like Moscato except it's a red grape. They both build sugar very quickly on the vine so they can be picked relatively early and produce an angelic, sweet wine with very low alcohol.
It's hard to imagine that this incredible wine disappeared until 1979 when John Mariani of Banfi Vintners acquired Rosa Regale and resurrected Brachetto. It has been formerly recognized as a DOCG Italian wine, which is the highest honor in Italy. The grapes for this wine come exclusively from their estate vineyards.
The flavors descend on the palate in waves of lusciousness. There are the black cherries and sweet/tart plum accented by a lemon twist, all the while holding every flavor in place. Its delicacy dictates that simple foods are in order like shortbread or all by itself, while dreaming of sharing it with Cleopatra.