Did you know that August 13th is National Prosecco Day? Sparkling wines and summer are made for each other. But, if champagne seems a little excessive during the current cost-of-living crisis, why not explore the possibilities of Prosecco instead? It’s more accessibly priced, and is a delightful drink on its own.
But it’s also one of the easiest wines to pair with food, both savoury and sweet. If you’re already a fan of bubbles, Pink Prosecco is fast becoming one of the most popular beverage choices, especially for entertaining. We asked product manager Luke Shipway to share his favourite seasonal picks and pairings – and his wine cooler recommendations for perfect storing and pouring.
Pink Prosecco is very much the new kid on the block in comparison with pink champagne. In fact, until October 2020, Italy’s finest sparkling wine was only allowed to be produced as a white version. Then the powers-that-be (the Prosecco DOC Consortium) changed the rules, allowing the skins of the pinot noir grapes to be used, as opposed to just the flesh. And, because the grape skins determine the wine’s colour, pink Prosecco was born.
Did you know that in order to be classed as Prosecco DOC Rosé (i.e. pink Prosecco) strict rules need to be followed? This sparkling wine must come from the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions in Italy. And only two grape varieties are permitted: glera and pinot noir. To create the signature bubbles, pink Prosecco’s second fermentation must take place in a vat for a minimum of 60 days.
Pink Prosecco is a lot more purse-friendly than vintage champagne. But however much you pay for it, you’ll be wasting your money if you don’t store and serve it correctly. And that’s not a job your regular fridge is designed to do. In other words, a specialist wine cooler really is a worthwhile investment. Wine cabinets offer optimum temperature consistency. Importantly, they also deliver vibration and humidity control – too much of either is bad for any sort of wine, regardless of its colour.
If, like me, you have a passion for pizza, I have the perfect pink Prosecco to pair it with. I find sparkling wine lighter and fresher with this food compared to beer, which can be a little too yeasty and heavy.
Our Sense Premium C2601BS Smart Pyrolytic Single Oven Black Steel has a clever pizza function that serves up a perfectly cooked traditional Italian crust in less than three minutes.
Once you’ve stocked up on the pink Prosecco to serve it with, I’d store it in our new WI3125BS Undercounter Single Zone Wine Cooler Black Steel. This sleek, chic model features easy-slide beech shelves with a slatted design that can accommodate larger champagne/Prosecco bottles. Vibration-free, it incorporates fan-circulated cool air for even temperature distribution, and a humidity control water tank. This oven and wine cooler pairing will look super smart in your kitchen too, in their sophisticated black steel finish.
I tend to experiment with a lot more fish recipes when the weather is warm. And I find that lighter-style sparkling wines, such as pink Prosecco, pair particularly well with delicate dishes like steamed fish. Morrisons’ The Best Prosecco Rosé is a versatile, easy-drinking choice, which costs a bargainous £9.
If your kitchen has the space to accommodate it, I recommend our WI6135 Undercounter Dual Zone Wine Cooler Stainless Steel, which features a super-sleek one-piece door. You control its dual stacked temperature zones independently (the upper zone for serving, the lower zone for storage) with chic touch controls, which are showcased on a white LED display.
The WI6135 offers a toughened, UV-protected glass door and no-frost compressor cooling. So, this (unlike thermoelectric wine coolers) is unaffected by the environment and ambient temperature. This is an important consideration when you think how much warmer our summers have become in recent years. It also incorporates adjustable beech shelves to accommodate Prosecco bottles.
Steam cooking is healthy and delicious, and steamed fish will also cook faster and at lower temperatures than other methods. Our Sense SO111GM Built In Combi Steam Oven Gunmetal incorporates steam, fan heat with steam, grill, turbo grill and defrost options, for maximum versatility. It even includes an automatic descaling programme to help prevent limescale build-up.
Seafood pasta is one of my go-to dishes during the summer months. And pink Prosecco is a prime partner for it. Consider Brut (dry), which works particularly well with seafood. However, this year I’ve really enjoyed Marks and Spencer’s Bellante Prosecco Rosé. It’s currently priced at £72 for a case of six (which equates to £12 a bottle).
This off-dry pink Prosecco features delicate notes of red berries and jasmine. It works equally well as an aperitif as it does with, say, seafood linguine. A quality wine like this merits superior storage, such as our Sense Premium WI6155 Undercounter Dual Zone Wine Cooler Black.
This model boasts a super-sleek finish that complements any luxury kitchen, combining exceptionally high functionality with attention to detail. To optimise storage conditions and provide aesthetic appeal, this wine cooler incorporates four programmes with four light functions. A charcoal filter helps to purify the air and protect corks from damage – all presented within a stylish black glass finish.
And, if you’re concerned about lingering cooking smells from your seafood pasta, a venting hob such as our DD810BK 80cm Induction hob with Downdraft Extractor will keep any unwanted fishy odours under control.
Summer salads are endlessly versatile, and a sensible supper option if you’re trying to eat more healthily. They also make a perfect match with a chilled glass of something cold and bubbly!
Pink Prosecco can be excellent when paired with Greek salad; its berry notes complement the sweet tomato flavours, and offset the salty feta. I recommend Soffio Prosecco Rosé Spumante Extra Dry (£10 at Tesco). It blends wonderful cherry/berry aromas with delicate floral notes, but stays crisp and refreshing on the palate.
Our Sense Premium RIL1800 177cm In-Column Larder Fridge offers plenty of storage for salad ingredients. And our signature Caple Cool airflow system ensures cold air flows to every level of the refrigerator for even chilling. Meanwhile, you can store up to 20 bottles of Prosecco in our Sense Premium WI3155 Undercounter Single Zone Wine Cooler Black. This model incorporates touch controls with sleek, white LED displays, in addition to UV/heat-free white switchable LED lighting. This wine cabinet also harnesses no-frost compressor cooling technology with fan-circulated air, for consistent and even temperature distribution.
Even a chocolate fan like me switches to lighter desserts, such as fruit platters, cheesecakes and pavlovas, when the mercury rises. The good news is that pink Prosecco drinks beautifully with them all! Broadly speaking, the sweeter the dessert, the better it will pair with the corresponding versions of Prosecco. Marks & Spencer’s Conte Priuli Prosecco Rosé (currently £54 for a case of six/£9 per bottle) is an ideal match for both fruit desserts and canapés.
Keep it chilled to perfection in our Sense Premium WI6161 Integrated Undercounter Dual Zone Wine Cooler. What sets this high-performance, dual-zone wine cabinet apart for me are the aesthetics. This model incorporates a bespoke, soft-closing furniture door that you can match to your kitchen cabinets, for an ultra-stylish finish. Choose between a full door or a framed version with glass – the choice is yours.
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