We asked an expert what foods pair perfectly with sparkling wine

Dec 10 2021, 6:34 pm

When we think of what we look forward to most about the holidays, it’s easily sharing stories and reminiscing about our favourite moments with the people we care about the most.

Of course, this almost always takes place over delicious food and in between toasts to the festivities, New Year’s resolutions, and general gratitude for those we’re celebrating with. This season, whether you’re hosting friends at your house or visiting them and need a gift idea, MARTINI Asti is an excellent choice.

Savour each moment with this Italian sparkling wine that was made to be shared while making memories with friends and family. Upon the first sip, you’ll be greeted by fresh notes of peach and sweet wild sage that develop into fresh pineapple and pear flavours.

MARTINI Asti tastes divine on its own, but you can appreciate its flavours to a higher degree when served with food. That’s why we asked MARTINI Vermouth Account Manager and long-time bartender, Stephanie Lamb, to share the top dishes to pair with the sparkling wine this season.

Before we get into the delectable details of Lamb’s recommended dishes, it’s worth knowing the backstory of MARTINI Asti. The sparkling wine is made with 100% Moscato Bianco grapes that are grown in the ideal climate of Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG), Asti in Italy’s Piedmont region. The DOCG designation indicates the highest level of quality in Italian wine.

Each aspect of the production is carried out with care, starting with the grapes being harvested to preserve a delicate fragrance and going on to the connection between the land, people, and MARTINI. For the last 150 years, the beverage producer has worked closely with the same farming communities growing the finest Moscato Bianco grapes; there’s a long tradition behind each bottle.

Lamb tells us the idea behind every pairing would be to use the beautiful, floral, and delicate sweetness of the Asti to balance the food you’re eating. “Items that are very salty or spicy work best for this contrast,” she says. “Alternatively, the almond and vanilla notes of Italian desserts enhance these flavours in MARTINI Asti.”

Hors d’oeuvres pairing

Preparing a welcome cocktail for your friends and family is a thoughtful gesture to kick off a festive evening at home, and Lamb says MARTINI Asti is a great option. It also happens to pair beautifully with a selection of appetizers that will make your guests swoon.

We’re talking about spanakopita — crispy-on-the-outside pastry puffs filled with spinach and feta; stuffed mushrooms with parmesan and maybe a drizzle of garlic butter over the top; cheese and caramelized onion with fig resting on croutons; and an antipasto platter.

In Italian culture, antipasto is the traditional first course of a formal meal. What would you serve on an antipasto platter? It could be pickled or cured meats, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, vegetables, olives, and the cheeses of your choice, to name a few mouth-watering extras.

Scrumptious sides

It’s not uncommon for us to daydream about holiday dining throughout the year because the spread of food is always so unforgettably flavourful. This year, you can enjoy the sweet, smooth, and versatile MARTINI Asti with your holiday meal. Pro tip: remember to serve it in a chilled wine glass for the full experience.

Whether you’re preparing turkey, ham, or mushroom roulade as your main dish (or a combination of all three), Lamb says your sparkling wine will pair exceptionally well with two dishes. The first is butternut squash ravioli with brown butter and sage. The second? Spicy garlic butter crustaceans (preferably jumbo shrimp).

You could serve these dishes as sides or even prepare them as full meals on a different day over the holidays.

Decadent dessert

There’s no need to worry about buying wine to serve with appetizers, another to go with mains, and another as a dessert accompaniment since the elegant MARTINI Asti checks the boxes for all three.

When asked about the optimal dessert pairings for MARTINI Asti, Lamb doesn’t hesitate to share two equally alluring and unquestionably brag-worthy options. Enter panettone, also known as Italian holiday cake. A combination of candied fruits and raisins studded in a sweet dough, the cake is a must-try for dessert lovers.

Roasted almond and espresso cannoli is Lamb’s next suggested pairing, and we can see why. Nutty, coffee, and creamy flavours — coupled with the crunchiness of the cannoli shell — and followed by the effervescence of sparkling wine is a dessert dream epitomized.

If you’re inspired to discover more food pairings, cocktail recipes, and learn more about MARTINI Asti, visit martini.com.

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