Easy Holiday Appetizers & a Sparkler from South Africa #WinePW
Wine Pairing Weekend Celebrates the Holidays
Our theme this month is “Sparkling Wine and Festive Holiday Dishes”. Scroll further down in this post for lots of great ideas from our group. If you see this on Saturday morning Dec. 12, please join us on Twitter at #WinePW for a lively discussion!
One of the best lessons we learned early on was to always keep a bottle of chilled sparkling wine in the fridge. Anytime someone stops by, pop the bubbly, they feel welcome and a special occasion is born. Even if it’s just Tuesday afternoon.
This is especially true during the holidays, when you’ll want to have appetizers to serve with that sparkling wine on short notice. Today I’m highlighting a Methode Cap Classique (Champagne method) Sparkling wine from South Africa with a couple of easy & quick appetizers. Share with friends, or enjoy these at home with a loved one, no guests required!
Great Pairings with Sparkling Wines
A great paradox of pairing with wines is the subject of sparkling wines. Elegant, snooty even, we think of things like caviar, raw oysters. Funny thing, some of the best pairings are salty, fried snacks. Potato chips? Yes! Fried chicken? Bring it on! My suggestions today include Frico, a treat from the Friuli region of Italy (fried salty Montasio cheese, potatoes & onions!) and cheesy stuffed mushrooms, washed down delightfully with a nice dry sparkling wine from South Africa.
Pongrácz Brut Methode Cap Classique (South Africa) ($18 at South Lyndale Liquors)
Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) is the name used in South Africa for sparkling wines made by the champagne method. Although other grapes can be used, many South African wineries use the traditional champagne grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier.
Eye: Pretty, creamy warm yellow. Nice mousse, fine with good persistence.
Nose: A touch yeasty, super nice. Ripe pears and apples, a bit stony. This is one of the most “Champagne-like” noses I’ve encountered in a sub $20 sparkling wine.
Mouth: Nice brut balance. A touch of sweetness so it isn’t too severe. Bubbles are nice and fine. Nice length in the finish.
This is new favorite sub-$20 sparkling wine at our house! Great with boursin stuffed mushrooms and potato onion frico.
From the winery:
The Inspiration An elegant and distinctive Méthode Cap Classique, Pongrácz is inspired by a nobleman and refugee from the Hungarian uprising, Desiderius Pongrácz, whose sheer genius and vision revitalised viticulture in the Cape. Composed in the classic French tradition of two noble varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this magnificent Cap Classique evokes an air of style and sophistication, a tribute to the genius to whom we owe its name.
Great Sparkling Pairings from our Wine Pairing Weekend Group
Culinary Adventures with Camilla will be “Celebrating with Lemon-Poached Scallops with Caviar Limes and Champagne”
A Day in the Life on the Farm is excited to share “An Assortment of Appetizers with a California Champagne”
Curious Cuisiniere has paired “Italian Panettone and Sparkling Wine”
Confessions of a Culinary Diva is preparing to have “Champagne & Caviar Dreams”
Pull That Cork is “Celebrating In Style with Giulio Ferrari for #winePW”
ENOFYLZ Wine Blog is planning “A 3-Course Sparkling Wine Dinner with Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut”
Grape Experiences is excited for the holidays with “Le Medaillon Brut NV and Normandy Fondue”
Dracaena Wines is ready to talk about “Why We Love Sparkling (And You Should, Too!)”
WinePassItaly will be enjoying “Asti Spumante with Hazelnut and Torrone Semifreddo for #WinePW”
Cooking Chat Food is planning “Kale Pesto Crostini Wine Pairing That Sparkles”
Rockin’ Red Blog is sharing “A Sparkling Good Wine and Food Pairing”
Austrian Wine USA is sharing “Austria’s Sekt with Smoked Char Cucumber Canapes”
Roero Consorzio gives us “Sparkling Wines: Roero Arneis Spumante DOCG”
Truffle oil is your secret weapon in this delicious appetizer. The key is to use it sparingly, so your guests would have a hard time identifying it, yet an intoxicating aroma is clearly present. Ingredients Instructions
Stuffed Mushrooms with a Hint of Truffle
Truffle oil is your secret weapon in this delicious appetizer. The key is to use it sparingly, so your guests would have a hard time identifying it, yet an intoxicating aroma is clearly present.