Pour Favor is break’n it down: What to do with left over bubbly!
Rebecca Rethore, Somerville’s own small business owner and wine blogger at Pour Favor, pops over every Monday to give Wicked readers a taste of what's what in the wine world. She specializes in making wine simply approachable and fun. It's just what she does: Happiness Uncorked!
Graduation season is all around us here in Beantown, the College/University “capital” of New England. No doubt corks will continue to fly the next few weeks as years of hard work are celebrated and new adventures anticipated. But what to do with left over bubbly?
We often think of sparkling wine as a special commodity not for everyday buying. So when purchasing a bottle (whether actual Champagne, a domestic effort or another country’s fine offering) we are remiss to “waste” it. But we all know sparkling doesn’t hold up so well overnight. All of those fabulous little bubbles lose a bit of their mojo; the wine simply cannot deliver the same experience the next day. Or can it? While tiny bubbles or a touch of froth may not translate well into a glass on Day 2, certainly the less sparkling liquid translates beautifully when introduced to a pot or bowl.
How so? Sparklers have high acidity, creamy texture and, of course, bubbles. These elements provide a welcome match for rich or fried foods that require something to cut through the fat. Salty foods provide the reverse effect as the saline cuts through the acidity of the wine. Mushrooms and other root veggies play off the earthiness in Champagne and Cava in particular. Seafood, well, that’s a no-brainer for the aforementioned reasons, whether you are enjoying lobster bisque or tuna tartare. Even the hard-to-pair egg doesn’t fight a glass of sparkling wine as the yeasty, rich bubbles work harmoniously together.
Such compatibility with food when fresh makes sparkling wine a natural to cook with later. Day-old bubbly simply means the bubbles have settled down a bit. Its high acidity and creamy texture remain! Many chefs I know use sparkling wine as a substitute for butter or lemon/citrus when cooking. Some simply use it to lend additional finesse to a dish. Ever tried making risotto with a splash of bubbly? How about a basic sauté of shrimp and scallops? Sauces, dressings and even desserts can benefit, too. There are myriad recipes out there whether you’ve just got a splash left in the bottle or have half remaining.
Exectuive Chef/Owner of D’Lish Intimate Catering, Rachel Nason, quite agrees. D’Lish is committed to the art of classic, fine cuisine and passionate about keeping food simple when the product is refined and delectable all on its own. Nason has traveled the world to discover for herself how people, food and culture are intrinsically linked. And yet her salt of the earth spunk allows her to connect with people, helping them experience for themselves the allure of Prosecco, for example, without sitting in a chic, Venetian café.
So rather than dumping that bit of bubbly you have left over this week, try Nason’s Balsamic & Shallot Vinaigrette with a salad of roasted beets and goat cheese instead!
1 Shallot - finely diced
Veggie oil or Olive oil – about 2 cups
Balsamic vinegar – 1 cup
1 teaspoon Dijon vinegar
1 teaspoon Mayo
4 tablespoons Champagne
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Place shallot in bowl and whisk in the vinegar, mayo, Dijon mustard & Champagne until combined.
2. Slowly drizzle the oil down the side of the bowl whisking vigorously. Continue to whisk in the oil until it is finished. It should now be emulsified and will not separate like other dressing that have lots of extra additives.
3. Season with salt & pepper.
4. Taste the dressing with a leaf of the lettuce you will be using.
See? It’s not so hard! Don’t hesitate to break out the bubbly this festive season, or otherwise contact Brookline-based D’Lish to help with your next soiree.
Have other wine questions or comments? Email Rebecca@Pour-Favor.com.