Tag Archives: prosecco

Jamaican-Style Pumpkin Soup with Prosecco

Jamaican-style pumpkin soup is perfect with a glass of off-dry Prosecco.

As many of you know, I’ve been writing recipes with wine pairings for Wine Enthusiast. Here’s another one from the fall guide.

Since North Americans harvest pumpkins in the fall, the Caribbean islands would seem an unlikely source for great recipes. Yet, from the Virgin Islands to Barbados to Nevis, this creamy squash is a popular crop. The type of pumpkin common in Jamaica is close in flavor to butternut, which can be swapped for this recipe. Otherwise, look in Latin specialty shops for the green-skinned Calabaza or Caribbean pumpkin. The vibrant orange flesh has a slightly sweet flavor, and is packed with antioxidants and vitamins. This recipe calls for pureeing the entire batch, but feel free to puree half, leaving whole pieces to float, as is common on the island.

TO PAIR Prosecco
Whether serving the soup as a first course or a simple weeknight entrée with crusty bread, look for an off-dry, fruity Prosecco to pair. The hailing from Italy’s Veneto, the sweetness of the wine not only enhances the flavor of the squash, but it counters the heat of the scotch bonnets.

Serves 3-4; Total time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS
3 Tbs coconut oil
2 large shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium or large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 green onions, chopped plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
2 bay leaves
3 sprig fresh thyme
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 or 2 fresh scotch bonnets (depends on tolerance for heat)
4 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
4 cups of peeled and seeded Jamaican pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1 lb of whole squash)
½ of a lime, juiced
½ cup coconut milk
Toasted pepinos, to garnish

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat coconut oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic, green onions, carrot, celery and garlic. Sauté until soft and barely golden, about 5-6 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients, except lime and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered for about 35-40 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.

3. Discard bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and scotch bonnet. Using a stick blender in the pot, puree until smooth. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth (or use an immersion stick blender). Return soup to pot and season with salt and pepper, lime juice and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, stirring to integrate, three to four minutes. Ladle into bowls; garnish with pepinos and parsley. Serve.

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Filed under Jamaican-style pumpkin soup, Recipes and Wine Pairings

Postcard: Abbey of Follina in Prosecco Country

AbbeyofFollina

View of the fountain inside the Abbey of Follina in the province of Treviso. We ran in for a brief look on a drizzly day while touring Prosecco country. The monastic complex dates back to the 12th century, during which the grape-loving Cistercians replaced the Benedictine monks

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Filed under Italy, Prosecco

Postcard: Prosecco Grapes in Conegliano Valdobbiadene

PereraGrapes

The Perera grape, allowed for use in the Prosecco blend (in addition to Glera, the primary grape.) The winery Marchiori makes the only single-varietal bottling of Perera.

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Holiday Sparkling Wine under $20–Stock Up for New Year’s Eve

SparklingWineHoliday.jpg

As festive as shopping and wrapping gifts can be (if battling crowds in search of the perfect gift to present neatly in a beautiful, Martha Stewart-approved package complete with red ribbon can be considered fun), the joy of the season quickly evaporates when the credit card bill comes in January — and the post-holiday hangover and crummy weather make the first month of the new year depressing enough. To keep your celebratory, seasonal buzz going sans bank-account depletion, you need bubbles that are delicious and well-made, that provide layers of flavor, and that are a good value. I plumbed the under-$20 sparklers at Astor Wine and Spirits (399 Lafayette Street, 212-674-7500) (because most in the $10-$15 category just don’t pass muster) to find out how easy it would be to compile a recommended list.

My goal was to find five bottles worthy of your dollars, but assuming a stinker or three might end up in the group, I left with eight. Amazingly, all picks impressed. Good work Astor, and happy (tasty and affordable) holidays, readers.

Val de Mer NV, Crémant de Bourgogne, Chablis, Burgundy, France, $19.96
Chablis is known for crisp, mineral-driven Chardonnay, but the region also produces bubbles. This Crémant (“Crémant” signifies a French sparkling wine made in the traditional method), has full-bodied flavors of quince, apple, and chalk with vigorous bubbles.

Gruet Blanc De Noirs NV, New Mexico, USA, $15.99
Great value sparkler full of creamy, rich red fruits; this New Mexican house has been around since the 1980s.

Avinyo Cava Brut Reserve, NV, Penedès, Spain, $17.99
Cava has become a mainstream, reasonably priced alternative to Champagne; made in the traditional method with no dosage, this apple and lemon-scented bottle will appeal to those who like their tipple crisp and bone dry.

Szigeti Sekt Grüner Veltliner NV, Neusidlersee, Austria, $18.99
An unusual selection — although not for Austrians — this attractive, Grüner-based wine made in the traditional method is dry and creamy with lemon and stone fruit base notes and white pepper and celery seed laced throughout.

Luis Pato Bruto Baga Rosé, Vinho Espumante 2010, Bairrada, Portugal, $12.99
Ever heard of the Baga grape? You’re not alone if not. This Portuguese variety has been lovingly cultivated by distinguished winemaker Luis Pato — he’s pretty much dedicated his life to it. The resulting sparkling wine has the grape’s characteristic earthiness mingled with red fruits — plus a streak of blood orange — at a superb price.

Ch. Greffe, Vouvray Brut NV, Touraine, Loire, France, $21.96 on sale for $18.96
This delicate sparkler from Chenin Blanc grapes has pretty flavors of Bartlett pear and white peach, and it delivers a bright, citrus finish with each effervescent sip.

Col Vetoraz Prosecco Brut 2012, Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy, $15.99
I find much of the ubiquitous Prosecco too sweet and lacking in complexity; this bottle, recommended highly by a staff member, revealed toasty notes with its pear and stone fruit, all in a deliciously dry package.

Contadi Castaldi Rose NV, Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy, $21.99
Okay, I cheated adding this wine since it technically lies $2 above my price limit. The premium sparkling wine region of Franciacorta is considered the Italian equivalent of Champagne, often with comparable prices, so finding a bottle for $22 piqued my curiosity. Fortunately, the wine’s delicate mousse carried lovely flavors of strawberry and rhubarb pie, making this a wine I would definitely toast the holidays with again.

 

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