Sparkling Wine – Champagne’s More Affordable Sibling
I asked my wine expert friend, Jameson Fink, if he would be so kind as to share some of his vintage (vintage as in wine, not vintage as in old) experience with you. And he’s actually taken it one step further. You see, Jameson has a thing for the bubbly like I do. Remember that holiday post I did about Champagne, Prosecco and Cava where I taught you how to get more bang for your buck by giving some of those other great bottles of bubbly? Jameson has pulled out his vast knowledge of sparkling wines and paired them with some of my favorite recipes. Yes, he’s made some fantastic pairing selections with foods that you probably never would have thought would work with wine, let alone sparkling wine.
I am filled with an insatiable desire to drink Champagne. But, like most of us, I’m on more of a sparkling wine budget. And though true Champagne, the ultimate in bubbles from the region of the same name, may be an all-too-rare pleasure, fear not as there is an ocean of more modestly priced sparkling wine out there for your regular enjoyment. Not only are sparkling wines some of the most fun and refreshing wines, period, they also come in a myriad of styles, colors, and flavors to suit your mood.
And your food. You see, sparkling wines are incredibly versatile and food-loving. To drive home my point, I’ve selected some of Pamela’s recipes that will match well with a flute-ful of cascading bubbles
I was fortunate enough to sample this creatively delicious cauliflower tabbouleh dish at a post IFBC-party hosted by Andrew of EatingRules. This tabbouleh is not only distinctive for using shredded cauliflower in place of bulgur wheat, but also for the colorful addition of pomegranate seeds. I mean, arils. (My Man’s Belly: Where learning happens.) And these arils take this dish squarely into sparkling rosé territory. Do you drink dry rosé? If you don’t you’re missing out on one of the world’s most food-friendly wines. And when you make that dry rosé sparkling, there’s even more to love. My current obsession is with the Scarpetta Brut Rosé, from Italy. It’s a blend of Franconia (known as Lemberger here in Washington but also called Blaufrankish) and Pinot Nero (aka Pinot Noir). But don’t fret about the grape names; just get this dang wine in your belly!
And though sparkling rosés are great with vegetarian fare, maybe you require something a little more bacony? A refreshing rosé is a nice foil to all that smoky bacon and melty cheese on this savory pie. Bubbles act as palate-cleansers, getting you ready to enjoy another bite of something rich. I have enjoyed the Scarpetta rosé with salumi, so I have no doubt of its capabilities and compatibility with powerful meaty deliciousness. And, hey, this is a brunch recipe; late mornings and early afternoons were made for sparkling rosé!
Salty snacks and sparkling wine? Hell yeah! Pamela has taken a page out of my wish book with these fancied-up Cool Ranch Doritos. Did she make her own ranch seasoning for these chips? Duh. She also made them healthy, too. The only thing that would make snack time better is a glass of sparkling wine. I am quite fond of the French sparkling wines from the region of Limoux. It’s where sparkling wine was born, over 500 years ago. Respect! A favorite is the Domaine de Martinolles “Le Berceau”.
But perhaps you have a bit of a sweet tooth? Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you. These scones, chock-full of raspberries, would be perfect with a glass of Brachetto d’Acqui. What the heck is it? It’s a fizzy, sweet Italian red wine that’s like drinking a bowlful of fresh red berries. It’s pretty low in alcohol, too, making it the ultimate breakfast wine to enjoy with these scones. And though I’m not a huge fan of Brachetto and chocolate desserts (they can overwhelm the wine), having chocolate as a supporting actor instead of the star of this recipe will work perfectly.
So whether it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, or snack time, you’ve got the tools for sparkling wine enjoyment for each of these daily events. (What, you don’t have dessert every day?)
To learn even more about wines, please visit Jameson’s site at www.jamesonfink.com.
Smart man that one.
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