Known locally as “Specialino,” the Aperitivo Cappelletti may be the oldest style of classic red bitter still in production. Made from a traditional wine base of predominately Trebbiano, Cappelletti is less sweet than its larger commercial rivals and has a delightfully dry finish with bitter citrus undertones perfect for mixing with sparkling wine. It still uses natural Carmine (Cochineal) for color, long prized in garments, food and drink. This beautifully deep crimson red is a great source of pride (and wealth) for the region.
The “Spritz” – a drink combination of red bitter with sparkling wine and a slice of orange, shares a history with Cappelletti in the Triveneto. Legend has it that the Emperor Franz Ferdinand had enjoyed the bitter and sour notes when combining citrus with certain wines. During WWI, soldiers of the Austrian Empire would order the Spritz to add depth to the local bubbly. Although locals would counter that the Austrians could not handle the local bitter aperitivi without some dilution.
Try it mixed with Cava VallDolina ($18.99) for a refreshing start to your next dinner party or while hanging out and watching old Fellini movies.