Strawberries and Wine, Prosecco isn’t the only option
Disliked by the Greeks and considered harmful by the Ancient Romans, strawberries had a bad reputation for a very long time. Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, today they are considered the summer fruit par excellence.
Lipstick red, flame red, ruby, wild, Anabelle or Clery, in fruit salad, plain or cooked, different types of strawberry can be put to a variety of uses to delight the most diverse palates.
And when paired with the right wine to suit the circumstances, the range of possibilities becomes really endless.
Depending on when and where they are served, habits may change, but one thing always stays the same: the strawberries must be in season and the wine must be of the finest quality.
In the 1990s, the word strawberry was synonymous with Moscato, and when we think about Moscato, we think about Piedmont.
They were eaten as dessert, with ice-cream for children and a glass of Moscato for adults. No one ever said no to that glass. Even women who would refuse every other kind of wine would give in to the temptation of a glass of Moscato at the end of a meal.
100 million bottles of sparkling wine were drunk every year in Italy at the time, and 40 million of them were sweet.
Today, the first wine that comes to mind when it comes to pairing with strawberries, is Prosecco.
In 2021, production and sales of Prosecco Doc rose by 25% compared to 2020, with the number of bottles sold during the year shooting up to 627.5 million.
Versatile and seductive, for a business lunch, an aperitif or after dinner, a nicely chilled glass of Prosecco brings the moment to life.
And don’t forget Prosecco rosé, irresistible at first glance. A perfect alchemy between its colour, fine perlage and delicate bouquet, and the ideal balance between sweetness and savouriness.
Paired with a strawberry, Prosecco is the aphrodisiac wine par excellence.
But there is a whole list of recipes, from the simplest to the most sophisticated.
For a bitter-sweet aperitif, a Smoothie made with strawberries and Pinot Grigio makes an interesting change to more traditional cocktails.
The advantage is that it’s really easy to make.
All you have to do is wash and slice the strawberries. Sprinkle them with sugar and lemon juice, mix and leave them to rest for 30 minutes. Now blend them with a hand blender, uncork a bottle of chilled Pinot Grigio, and pour over the blended strawberries, stirring gently. The final touch: a leaf of mint to make it sublime.
Of course, we mustn’t forget those who love red wine, unconditionally, in winter and in summer too. In this case, why not opt for a strawberry salad? Once again, nothing could be easier.
Just wash and slice the strawberries. Place them in a bowl and add some Sparkling Bonarda, cinnamon, cloves and lemon zest. Leave to macerate for two hours in the fridge. Before serving, eliminate the lemon zest and spices, and you’re good to go.
Those who are slightly more adventurous can have fun with more daring combinations that include strawberries in savoury recipes, such as strawberry risotto for example.
In this case, melt a knob of butter in a pan and gently fry some finely chopped fresh scallion. Add the rice and stir it until it is all coated with the butter. Pour over a glass of Primitivo and continue cooking the risotto, adding liquid gradually as it evaporates, alternating the red wine with boiling water. Halfway through the cooking time, add roughly chopped strawberries, season with salt and some fresh thyme. As always, when the rice is cooked, stir in a knob of butter and add some fresh herbs, choosing between thyme, mint and basil, as preferred.
The list could go on and on. Strawberries are delicious with steak or fish tartare, a fresh cheese board and even to stuff a turkey.
The great thing about fresh, juicy strawberries is that they are perfect at any time of day. Thanks to their colour, shape, sweetness and slight tartness, strawberries are just like a summer kiss. When paired with the right wine, this is a fruit that always keeps its promise.