New Year’s Sparklers

Possibly one of my favorite New Year’s Eve memories is a house party in Brooklyn with dear friends, fancy outfits, even fancier food, and Champagne — in fact, a bottle of Champagne, not Prosecco or Cava or any other sparkler, was your ticket in. What started as a tasting exercise (and way to obliterate the memory of the lobster that just would not die) turned into a raucous good time in the early hours of 2010. Continue reading

Sweet Wines for Your Pumpkin Pie

Sweet wines have a bad reputation in the United States as cheap, watered-down alternatives to the more refined, dry styles. Keep your sticky white zins to yourself, I thought when I began getting interested in wine. I’ll drink my zippy sauvignon blancs and tannic cabernets. Continue reading

Pairing Notes: A Wintry Vegetarian Dinner

Putting together a pairing for this menu, which features “rich Mediterranean-inspired flavors,” I wanted to focus on the best ways to highlight its risotto centerpiece:

The citrusy creaminess of the lemon risotto needs a comparable wine in both weight and flavor. We recommend a heftier white like a Fumé Blanc from California, a richer style of Sauvignon Blanc that’s aged in oak. For something a little more festive, try a sparkling wine from Italy’s Franciacorta region in Lombardy, where risotto is a traditional dish; the bubbles will provide a lighter complement to the dish, refreshing the palate between bites.

François Pinon Sparkling Vouvray Brut

A sparkling wine made by the méthode traditionelle in the Loire Valley, this 100% Chenin Blanc has a pleasant, musty nose with a hint of lemon from its extended lees contact during the aging process.

The wine is medium-bodied (13% alcohol) – weighty, but the bubbles offer a delicious, refreshing bite. Rich hints of chamomile honey are cut off by its sharp, acidic finish.

An excellent pairing for creamier dishes like risotto alla milanese.

4 out of 5 stars

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