How to pair wine according to the menu

For Leopardi, “waiting for pleasure is itself pleasure”, and how not to agree, a thought that often takes shape also in the world of wine.

It is always nice to uncork and share the good bottles chosen for a lunch, dinner or a special occasion, but it is even more pleasant to choose them based on the company and especially on the menu they will accompany.

Easter has now come but if you still have doubts about how and what to combine with your recipes, here are some good tips!

The menus vary from region to region and from family to family, so there are no absolute rules but if you usually start with the classic Easter cakes based on cheese, eggs and vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, salami and fish vol-au-vents, bubbles accompany it very well: a good Franciacorta like the sumptuous Animante by Barone Pizzini, the new Berlucchi 2013 (100% Chardonnay) , the attractive PR Monte Rossa or the Cuvée dell’Angelo with which Castello di Cigognola enhances the Pinot Noir of Oltrepò Pavese. If you want to pamper yourself then choose a bottle of soft and intense Ruinart Blanc de Blanc.

If, on the other hand, you do not like sparkling wine, the choice can also fall on still, fresh and light white wines: the perfumed and slender Ligurian Pigato “Grand Père” of the Vio family, the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Doc Classico Superiore “La Staffa” or the bewitching Pecorino Abruzzese Tenuta i Fauri which gives its best in the less young years (together with the company Cataldi Madonna di Ofena -Aq- has organized free shipments throughout Italy for this period).

Continuing with the first course, the tricolor tradition usually includes strong and tasty first courses such as fettuccine with lamb ragout, lasagna alla bolognese, timbales in central Italy, ravioli and whoever has more. In this case you need the acidity of the red wines that dampen instead of weighing them down: the agile Rubino Costa Toscana Rosso IGT of the Tuscan company Bulichella in Val di Cornia, the vibrant Montefalco Sagrantino of the Umbrian Scacciadiavoli or the Barbazzale from Sicily would be spot on from Cottanera with Nerello Mascalese Hood and Hood. Do you like rosé wines? Choose Giovanni Aiello’s Rosé Chakra produced in Puglia from Primitivo grapes only or if you are lucky you will be able to obtain the wonderful Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo Valentini.

Let’s move on to the second. The protagonist of the Easter’s menu it is surely the lamb that reigns supreme in the banquets of these days, with what to enhance it? Much depends on how it is prepared, the variations are countless as well as the wines to choose to accompany them. The classic baked lamb with potatoes? You need a well-structured wine, amazing are the Faro Palari, deep and material directly from the Strait of Messina, the Tuscan Paleo Rosso from Le Macchiole which represents a riot of harmony, juiciness and depth, Matteo Correggia’s Barbera d’Alba Marun , full-bodied and intense expression of Piedmont. The important thing however is that it is a red wine, with a good alcohol content, with tannins present, acidity and a wide aromatic spectrum.

And for those who choose the Roman lamb or the succulent adult sheep’s kebabs? Well, recommending a robust Montepulciano d’Abruzzo would be taken for granted, so here are the material and austere red wines such as the Riserva del Brunello di Montalcino 2012

Biondi Santi that gives grace and depth, the Barbaresco Fausoni (cru of the municipality of Neive in the Langhe) of the Sottimano family, the Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata Trediberri from the historic vineyard of La Morra or the Marche Rosso IGT “Kurni” of the Oasis of the Angels for true connoisseurs.

When it comes to desserts, the games get tougher if it is chocolate, which has always been difficult to match: if dark it can go with a sweet liqueur wine, and without a doubt it can be played with one of the Marsala di Intorcia, if it matches well with milk with a Recioto della Valpolicella such as Trabucchi d’Illasi. A wise choice, with dry pastries, cakes, doves or panettone, is to uncork a bottle of El Aziz, 100% Grillo produced in Contrada Bausa (Marsala) by Cantine Fina. If instead you are more from unusual closures such as cheeses at the end of the meal, then something different and unconventional can be represented by a glass of generous and persistent Krug Vintage 2006 or by a more classic combination represented by blue cheeses and raisin wine, in this case the Passito di Pantelleria Coste Ghirlanda stands out.

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