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From Brut sparkling wines to full-bodied reds. Here are all the secrets for those enhancing  celebration-menu matchings, with the advice of Cosimo Diana, sommelier as well as owner of the Italian Food Partner website.

The pleasure of food increases if combined with the right  stemmed glass of wine,  be it based either on simplicity,  or on the recovery of traditions at the table or on refined niche dishes.

“Matching wines with food is not simple. It depends a lot on the quality of wine, on the year of production, on the wine production style. However, a simple ABC can help avoiding mistakes and reach that harmonic result which can value both”

Hot tip number one: “combine wines and dishes with the same organoleptic consistence and with the same taste intensity. Thus, consider white wines, which are fresh and acidulous like  Franciacorta,  for fresh and light dishes that usually open the course series. To follow, the dishes will be richer and more complex and they shall combine with good intensity, dry and balanced wines (from whites to rosés or young reds). Then we shall get on with  well structured reds or more mature tannic and full-bodied ones, as the food becomes progressively fatter and more spicy. Last but not least, match sweet and semisweet  wines  with desserts, whereas fortified wines go with blue cheese”

The Christmas evening menu is usually seafood based. If the start off is led by seafood appetizers, finger food with crudités and salmon canapés “the wines on the table shall be traditional whites, that we can also keep on drinking for the courses that follow. Among the classic matchings, oysters and Franciacorta; seafood salad and Greco di Tufo.”

As far as Christmas lunch is concerned, a celebration of meats and cold cuts, we shall surrender to full-bodied red wines. For instance, Barolo or Barbaresco would be perfect  with stewed and boiled meat. We shall end our meal with a good Moscato d’Asti bottle, in order to honour  panettone cake”

Merry Christmas…

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