At one o’clock in the afternoon on a December day in Alghero, Sardinia, I was staving off jet lag in the most sensible way: eating tiny shrimp, mussels, razor clams, calamari and fried moray eel in La Boqueria, the city’s fish market, while drinking a sparkling Vermentino di Sardegna called Akènta.

The fishmongers’ stalls were already being washed down, having sold all the seafood brought in early that morning.  But on the premises is a tiny trattoria with a blackboard menu of the day’s offerings, and by the end of this midday meal, I felt as happy and effervescent as the bubbles in the wine.
I was there with representatives of Cantina Santa Maria La Palma, composed of 326 growers who contribute their grapes to Sardinia’s most modern winery, just outside of the seaside city of Alghero.  The Akènta sparkling wine is made by the Charmat method, aged six months on the yeasts, making for bracing freshness with plenty of fruit and flower flavors that went so perfectly with my extravagant, if humble, seafood lunch. [ more… ]