Preparing to Welcome in a (Much Better) New Year

Champagne.

Cava.

Prosecco.

Sparkling wine by any name.

Over the next two weeks, more bubbly will be sold than in any other single month all year as folks prepare to welcome in 2021.

Or, perhaps more accurately at this unique time in our history, as they prepare to say “so long and good riddance” to 2020.

It’s a good time to remind ourselves that not all sparkling wines are created equal. And because they’re made in an array of styles, it’s helpful to know which types work well which various types of food.

The sweeter sparklers — which in the confusing language of wine may in some cases be labeled “extra dry” — make great companions to fruit-based desserts, or can be used as desserts in place of food. (With food, stay away from chocolate, but pour freely with peach cobbler, apple brown Betty or even banana cream pie.)

Dry sparklers are ideal for appetizers and main courses. They can handle a vast spectrum of fat levels and spiciness.

If there’s another turkey, or perhaps a Cornish game hen, in your near future, think: “Brut.”

Blanc de Noirs can be paired with “challenging” meats, such as ham, or with similarly salty fare such as dates wrapped in bacon. (Commentary: Yum!)

Blanc de Blancs is the go-to sparkler for sushi, shellfish and other delicacies from the sea.

Generally speaking, sparkling wines are among the most versatile of all food companions, so don’t be afraid to do some experimenting.

Or, simply raise a glass when the clock strikes midnight “next year” and toast the fact that we have so many delicious choices and much better days ahead.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

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