Kushman on Wine
Put a little sparkle in the season.
Written by Rick Kushman
Illustration by Lily Therens
Nick’s Cove farmer Brendan Thomas with chef Joshua Seibert in the croft (photo by Dawn Cooper)
W hen you talk about wines to match holiday food, you can start and end with bubbly. Literally. Besides the toasts, sparkling wines pair with nearly everything on your table, and it’s a star with salads and desserts, the courses that can embarrass many other wines. Before we get into the pairing, first a story. It involves the illustrious winemaking monk Dom Perignon. According to legend, he discovered Champagne and said, “Come quickly, I taste the stars.”Actually, no. The truth is that he went to Champagne, France, to end bubbly wine.
Before I continue, here are a couple facts to remember:
- When yeasts eat sugars, they produce alcohol, plus heat and CO2. If yeasts do this in a sealed container — say, a bottle or tank — the CO2 has nowhere to go and becomes bubbles.
- Glass bottles first appeared in the 1600s, thanks to the invention of the coal-burning furnace. Those got hot enough to create glass thick enough for wine storage and more.