Most of us believe that with food can be matched only red wine or white wine, as a matter of fact there are many sparkling wines that perfectly match with dishes, however the choice must be done with a good evaluation and with the consideration of two fundamental elements, the glass in which it is served and the specific organoleptic properties of sparkling wine.
The glass in which sparkling wine is served must agree with the type chosen, in particular, the production method of the wine and the aromatic complexity.
For example, sparkling wines produced with the Charmat method are served in half-flute, that is, glasses which are not very wide and not very tall, in order to allow a proper development of perlage.
In case the wine is produced with the long Charmat method, therefore with a longer period of elaboration as opposed to the normal production, aromas will be more complex and more valued with a wider flute.
In case sparkling wines are produced with the classic method and not vintage, they will be served in a flute, whereas the vintage ones will be served in the flute glass, which has a narrow and elongated base with a wider belly and opening in order to allow the proper development of aromas.
As for the matching of sparkling wines with food, it should be considered two main characteristics of this kind of wine, effervescence and acidity, two factors that are particularly exalted in wines with bubbles.
Besides these two characteristics, it must also be taken into account the quantity of alcohol, smoothness, roundness in the mouth and the level of sweetness, for example, a brut sparkling wine, even though it may seem dry, can actually contain up to 15 grams of sugar, even though it will not seem particularly sweet, because carbon dioxide lowers the effect of the perception of sweet, however the sparkling wine will remain smooth.
Sparkling wines produced with white berried grapes only, such as Blanc de Blancs, have a lesser structure as opposed to the ones produced with white and red berried grapes, Blanc de Noirs will have a fuller body, whereas Rosés are more full bodied.
In order to determine wine's structure it is necessary to look at the aging period, in general terms vintage wines have more structure and complexity than non vintage wines; even the production method is important, sparkling wines produced with the classic method are more structured than the ones produced with the Charmat method.
For this reason, sparkling wines produced with the Charmat method usually precede the classic method, vintage wines follow the non vintage ones, Rosé wines are served after whites.
The level of sweetness also influences the sequence of the service of sparkling wine, it starts from the driest ones to the sweetest ones.
For a good enogastronomical matching, the effervescence of sparkling wines is of great help, they are excellent with dishes having a sweet taste, such as cereals, mail and rice, as well as vegetables, shellfishes and dishes having a fatty taste or with fatty condiments.
Even acidity helps to match sparkling wine to food, the effervescence and acidity of these wines help to exalt the taste of fatty dishes or sweetness, according to the type of food.
By keeping these considerations in mind, it can be said a risotto with seafood can be easily matched with a sparkling wine; alcohol will be useful to balance the sensations of succulence, in fact, alcohol will exalt even more the taste of fatty foods such as meats, cheeses and some more elaborated fish preparations.
In order to understand whether a sparkling wine is smooth, it must also be evaluated the level of sweetness, it will be very useful in the matching with more tasty dishes, with ingredients having an acid or bitter taste.
It is important to evaluate the taste and the smell of a sparkling wine, these two factors will be useful for balancing the balance of those dishes having strong and persistent flavors, even the structure of the wine will be very useful for the balance of complex and elaborated dishes.
Moreover, the sweetness of some sparkling wines such as Asti and Brachetto, as well as various sweet Champagnes or Franciacorta, are perfect to be matched with sweets and desserts, in particular the ones made of creams or semifreddos.
Therefore, from these considerations it is clear how the common thought that sparkling wines should be matched only to desserts is totally wrong, in fact, by paying attention to the characteristics and quality of wines it is possible to make an excellent enogastronomical matching.
Of course, in order to perfectly match sparkling wine with food, it is necessary to have a certain knowledge and familiarity about the characteristics of wines and food, this is the only way to avoid mistakes.
As a general rule, therefore, it is always necessary to start from dry sparkling wines to get to the sweeter ones by following the many courses and finally to get to desserts and therefore to the maximum sweetness.
In particular, when summer season is approaching, white wines and sparkling wines are more preferred, with the choice falling on the fresh and light ones, less demanding and served at low temperature during warm seasons.
The family of vini spumanti offer a vast selection of styles, each one having different characteristics, which make sparkling wines very versatile and suited for summertime, in particular when matched to the typical dishes which are served in that period.
However, the great versatility of these sparkling wines makes every enogastronomical matching balanced and perfectly harmonic.
In conclusion, the matching of sparkling wines with sweets and desserts is simple, a sweet bottle is the ideal solution in most of the cases, whereas for the many first courses, main courses and appetizers, it is necessary to evaluate the level of acidity, alcohol and sugar.
Let's also try the Cielo di montemaggio Cuvè Brut, our Charmat method sparkling Chardonnay and have a glass of stars of Montemaggio.