A Sparkling Good #Wine & #Food Pairing

The holidays are a time of year we give ourselves permission to splurge. We may eat a little more, drink a little more, and spend a little more. Since my return from Italy in late October I have been on an “Italian Art of Living” kick.” I shared how Ferrari-Carano Vineyards understands and embraces this lifestyle and I shared with you earlier this week how Ferrari Trento embodies this lifestyle. It is my hope as we splurge a bit this holiday season we keep in mind the reason for the season and take a page from the Italian’s book; relax, be present, eat well, drink well, embrace those we love, give back and always be thankful.

WinePW sparkling wine

This month’s Wine Pairing Weekend is hosted by Cindy Rynning of Grape Experiences. Cindy has chosen a topic that fully embraces the “Italian Art of Living:” Sparkling Wine! Although bubbles are perfect any time of year and every day of the week what better time to celebrate life and our many blessings than the holiday season and what better way than with bubbles! In November I had the blessing of participating in Protocol Winestudio’s 30th Session featuring Ferrari Trento sparkling wines. Ferrari crafts some of the best sparkling wines in the world and they are definitely among my favorite. In fact, this is the second year in a row I am featuring a Ferrari Trento sparkling wine for December’s Wine Pairing Weekend. I cannot wait to share this amazing sparkling wine with you, but first a brief highlight on Ferrari Trento.

ferrari winestudio italian art of living

Ferrari Winestudio GiulioIn 1902 the legend of Ferrari began when Giulio Ferrari dreamed of crafting a wine in Trentino capable of competing with the best French Champagnes. He was Giulio who made substantial plantings of Chardonnay in Italy (today 80% of all Chardonnay grapes in Italy are in Ferrari vineyards) and he began producing bottles of the highest quality. Because he had no children, Giulio chose Bruno Lunelli, the Trento local wine shop owner, to be his heir in 1953. In 1936, Champagne became the first designated wine region in the world specifically created for using the classic method (or as the French say Méthode Champenoise) to produce sparkling wine. That designation stood alone until 1993, when the world recognized a second region for its outstanding sparkling wine production using the classic method; that region was Trento DOC in Trentino, Italy and the designation was awarded to Ferrari Trento for their production of world class sparkling wines. Though Giulio did not get to realize his dream, today the third generation of the Lunelli family are honoring Giulio’s legacy and keeping his dream alive.

Ferrari Winestudio Lunelli family

2015 has been a great year for Ferrari Trento:

Ferrari wins the title of “Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year” at the international competition The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships 2015, prevailing in the final round over two renowned Champagne producers: Charles Heidsieck and Luis Roederer.

WinePW sparkling wine FerrariFerrari Winery: “European Winery of the Year” at the Wine Star Awards of the Wine Enthusiast Magazine. 

Wine Enthusiast recognizes that “Guided by the third generation of the Lucelli family, Ferrari embodies the very best of metodo classico sparkling wine making and what the family describes as the “Italian Art of Living.” And continues, “Thanks to over a century of experience, Ferrari has helped put Italian sparklers on the world’s radar. No brand has reached the luxury status and prestige of Ferrari.” This result is a recognition of great vocation of Trentino and its unique mountain viticulture for the production of bottle fermented sparkling wines. It is the result of the continuous search for excellence that has been carried out for more than a century with passion and commitment.

Ferrari winestudio winery

Ferrari Winestudio Giulio (2)Ferrari Giulio Riserva del Fondatore 2001: This wine was crafted of 100% Chardonnay from grapes grown in Maso Pianizza, single vineyard at 500m, homage to founder Giulio Ferrari. All Ferrari vintages spend at least 5 years on the lees; Giulio spends at least 10! It poured a penetrating golden yellow in the glass. Crisp apples, anjou pears, lemon zest, nutmeg, praline and a touch of honey rest peacefully on top a slice of crisp, lightly buttered toast with a creamy, velvety persistence that feels like a soft mousse on the palate; elegantly fine perlage; with round acidity leaving a long, mouth-watering finish. It is like drinking a delicious slice of panettone!  Ferrari described it as a wine that exhibited “broad and lively mouth-filling texture;” I completely agree! A truly sublime sparkling wine that exhibited the juxtaposition of power and elegance with a youthful playfulness that pleased from first smell to the end of the bottle. 12.5% alcohol. SRP $120

My daughter and I did a mini photo shoot of Giulio:

Ferrari Giulio3

Ferrari Giulio2

Ferrari Giulio5

Ferrari Giulio4

I chose to pair this beautiful sparkling wine with seafood; however, it was beautiful just to sip and it paired beautifully the following day with our Thanksgiving feast and especially my homemade Apple Crisp Pie. I paired Ferrari Giulio with Garlic Butter Salmon in Foil, a creamy, flavorful and easy salmon recipe that is perfect for a quick weeknight meal but also great to serve at a dinner party. Along with the salmon I added Parmesan and Spinach Orzo. It was a creamy side that not only blended beautifully with the salmon but was a perfect pairing with the sparkling wine. It was an outstanding weeknight meal with a truly extraordinary sparkling wine.

Ferrari Giulio roasted salmon

Ferrari Giulio orzo pasta

Ferrari Giulio salmon dinner2

Ferrari Giulio wine with dinner

Ferrari Giulio apple pie

Maso Pianizza Vineyard
Maso Pianizza Vineyard

Take a look at the sparkling wines my fellow #WinePW friends have found:

Culinary Adventures with Camilla “Celebrating with Lemon-Poached Scallops with Caviar Limes and Champagne”

A Day in the Life on the Farm  “An Assortment of Appetizers with a California Champagne”

Curious Cuisiniere “Italian Panettone and Sparkling Wine”

Confessions of a Culinary Diva  “Champagne & Caviar Dreams”

Pull That Cork “Celebrating In Style with Giulio Ferrari for #winePW”

ENOFYLZ Wine Blog  “A 3-Course Sparkling Wine Dinner with Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut”

Grape Experiences “Le Medaillon Brut NV and Normandy Fondue”

Dracaena Wines “Why We Love Sparkling (And You Should, Too!)”

Wine Pass “Asti Spumante with Hazelnut and Torrone Semifreddo for #WinePW”

Food Wine Click “Easy Holiday Appetizers & a Sparkler from South Africa”

Cooking Chat “Kale Pesto Crostini Wine Pairing That Sparkles”

Wines of Roero “Roero Arneis Spumanti DOCG and Lobster Risotto Arancini”

Austrian Wines USA is thrilled to present “Austria’s Sekt with Smoked Char Cucumber Canapes”

My Song Selection: I hope you and your family find experience the “Italian Art of Living” this holiday season!

Get your own bottle of Ferrari Giulio Riserva del Fondatore 2001 and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!


24 responses to “A Sparkling Good #Wine & #Food Pairing”

  1. Brava Michelle! I was just telling Scott the other day that in my next life I am coming back as an Italian. It was remarkable to be over there during the holiday season and see how our friends approach the holidays. Very family, food, and wine focused (“I am going here and eating this…drinking that..”) and hardly any talk of shopping, sales, and gift gifting. So refreshing.

  2. What a great group of bubbles. That spinach orzo is making me drool! What fantastic pictures also. It must have been fun to have your daughter taking the pictures with you. A family collaboration.

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