The Enological Epicurean: Bubbles for Dinner

It’s a shame. Nine times out of ten, it seems, people only shop for bubbles for three reasons: holiday, celebrations, and for playing second fiddle to OJ at Sunday morning brunch. Seldom does it occur to one that sparkling wines are among the most food-friendly on the planet. Not only that, they offer health benefits, and, more importantly, they are so fun to drink. I want to encourage you to spend as you would anyother fine wine, pair it with an array of foods and begin to learn why Fitzgerald referred to bubbles as the most, “significant, elemental and profound” of beverages.


Curried Pork Empanadas: Really, any empanadas. And if you don’t want to make them from scratch, check out local Buenas Aires Pizzeria, where the empanada options are endless! Pair it up with some KilaCava ($12) from Spain, or if you need something a little closer to this dish’s birthplace, for the SouthAmerican Pinot-Chard blend in the Cave Extreme ($14).

Pack a Picnic: I do this all the time—whether outdoors or in. It’s the perfect dinner for one, two or ten people. Just pick out some chorizo, prosciutto, a few cheeses, mixed olives, marcona almonds, and a loaf of good bread. Pair it with the hard to find, dry Italian RED bubbly 2009 Casalone Freisa ($18). It’s not a full on bubble, rather frizzante. It’s funky, the geek factor is way high and nothing will glom onto the salty, fatty fair at hand as well as this wine. But if the red bubbles freak you out too much, check out the equally esoteric though slightly more recognizable flavors of the bright, citrusy Lini 1910 Lambrusca Bianco. Yep—white,dry, crisp Lambrusco. Not your grammy’s Reunite.

The Enological Epicurean will present a few wine pairing ideas every other Thursday. Check back in two weeks for more!

About Ashley Hausman

Originally from Wisconsin, Ashley moved to Colorado to hike and climb mountains as soon as she had a B.A. in hand. Quickly she learned, she needed to find a career. So she went back to grad school to get her PhD in English & American Literature, beginning with a Masters at New York University. A few long papers, a thesis and a masters degree later, she found wine was not only an incredible way to enhance Derridean studies, but it had its own story to tell: of regions, soils, cultures and farming. While Woolf still had her heart, Burgundy was creeping in… She decided to postpone the PhD and go for the plunge. Now, she manages Little’s Wine & Spirits near the University of Denver. She orders by day, sips and tells all in her blog by night, and runs private wine parties in between in addition to giving advice on cellar building, wine vacations and food pairing. It’s a passion that grows only more complex with every passing vintage.