“This is going to be a little controversial,” confides Liana Buonanno, president and co-founder of Wickford’s Gooseneck Vineyards. “My favorite time to drink sparkling wines is early in the morning. There’s nothing wrong with some bubbles in the a.m. It’s a good way to start the day.”
No judgments here, particularly during the festive season. But to kick off your celebrations (or your day) on the right note, opt for a quality bubbly. “For a good sparkling wine, you don’t want it too sweet,” she says.
Some winemakers add sugar during the first fermentation to hide a multitude of sins. Sparkling wine uses a secondary fermentation process, which includes adding sugar to trigger the yeast to ferment again. This activates the fizz. The bubbles should be “elegant,” continues Buonanno. “It should feel silky on the palate.”
She recommends using a white wine glass rather than the traditional flute. “Sparkling wine is a wine, so it needs air,” she explains. “You want to be able to pick up the fruit aromas.” And drink up. Buonanno cautions against keeping it in the glass too long, lest the bubbles disappear. “Invest in a good bottle stopper; even just a half an hour is enough time for the bubbles to evaporate.”
When entertaining, Buonanno recommends a prosecco or a brut rosé. They have enough complexity to please all taste buds. Making a cocktail from the effervescent vino “doesn’t have to be complicated. A brut rosé with some fresh raspberries or cranberries thrown in the glass makes a festive but easy cocktail.”
Buonanno shares two elegant libations to add some sparkle to your holiday celebrations. She points out, like any mixed drink, the better the quality of the wine, the better the cocktail.
• 5 oz Gooseneck Vineyards Prosecco
• 1 shot of Rhodium RI Red Vodka
Fill wine glass with prosecco, then
add the vodka. Garnish with fresh
• 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
• 1 cup pear nectar
• 1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur (such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier)
• 1 bottle (750 ml) Gooseneck
In a large pitcher, combine
pomegranate juice, pear nectar, and
orange-flavored liqueur. Slowly add
prosecco. Serve chilled.
*To prepare in advance, combine and chill pomegranate juice, pear nectar, and orange-flavored liqueur. Just before serving, add chilled prosecco.
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