Gone are the days when sparklings were reserved solely for toasts during a special celebration. Their fine bubbles, their elegance, their marked acidity and freshness made these wines became the consumers preferred choice, considered the perfect beverage to pair every course of a meal.
This is mostly because sparkling wines are, above all, very versatile, an attribute that allows them to take centre stage at the table, from appetizer to dessert, and to harmonize with dishes with very different flavours. Possibilities are endless; we only need to dare to try different combinations and go beyond in the search for the perfect agreement.
As usual, in the case of sparkling wines, the first aspect to take into account when thinking about these combinations is the elaboration method. Wines made under the Charmat method are lighter and fruitier at core, perfect to drink as an aperitif or to accompany more casual meals, such as a salads or prosciutto sandwiches. On the other hand, those made using the Champenoise or traditional method —such as Luigi Bosca wines— are more complex, both in their aromas and in the palate. Depending on the time they spend on their lees, they may go very well with oysters (the sharpest sparkling wines, in terms of their acidity) or with more unctuous dishes of intense flavours, such as duck (for those that are in contact with the yeasts for years).
Pairing a meal, from start to finish
Given their diversity of styles, sparkling wines are great accompaniments to every course of a meal. Due to their high acidity levels, refreshing wines with fine bubbles and fruit at core, such as Luigi Bosca Extra Brut, are a very wise choice to drink as an aperitif. At this point, it is crucial for the wine to prepare the palate and the appetite for what will come next, but also to pair starters, such as prawn bruschettas, salmon sashimi, red tuna tartare or caprese skewers.
To pair more filling recipes, like grilled blue fish, oysters au gratin, or even a mushroom risotto, it is best to choose sparkling wines of greater complexity, such as Luigi Bosca Bohème Brut Nature.
Although options are endless, there is a suitable sparkling wine for all starters. In case of meals of intense and unctuous flavours, such as fried seafood or dough with a high butter content (phylo or puff pastry, for instance), the best is to opt for a sparkling wine in contact with its lees for a long period, as this stage helps clean the oily feel in the palate, like Luigi Bosca Brut Nature. By contrast, if the starter features rather acid and persistent flavours, such as tiradito or ceviche, we can go on drinking the fruit at core wine chosen as aperitif.
As for the main courses, there are two well-differentiated paths according to the style of the dishes. For light meals such as sushi platters, salmon-based salads or fresh sandwiches, we recommend a wine with citrus, floral and fruity notes, such as Luigi Bosca Extra Brut. This sparkly also goes very well with shellfish and spicy chicken fajitas.
To pair more filling recipes, like grilled blue fish, oysters au gratin, or even a mushroom risotto, it is best to choose sparkling wines of greater complexity, such as Luigi Bosca Bohème Brut Nature. It is crucial not to serve these wines chilled, since the characteristic complexity of their aromas would be lost at such low temperatures, and be thus perceived as less expressive.
For dessert, dry sparkling wines with very marked traits of fresh and citrus fruits, like Luigi Bosca Extra Brut, is an excellent accompaniment to cream and fruit-based recipes with some degree of acidity, such as strawberries and red fruits. For sweet bread and jams usually served at parties, e.g. almond nougat and marzipan, it would be more appropriate to return to more complex wines featuring notes reminiscent of nuts and toasted bread, like Luigi Bosca Bohème Brut Nature.
Its countless agreements to try out allow sparklings to continue establishing themselves as wines to drink all year round and the perfect match for a wide variety of dishes and consumption situations.