Wine and pumpkin, the perfect match!

Wine and pumpkin, the perfect match!

Oct 24, 2022


Ilaria Rosa | Bottle of Italy

Each season brings with it something particularly beautiful, with the cold of winter comes the snow, the warmth of the fireplace, Christmas, the holidays .. Spring is wonderful with its mild climate and its colors, the countryside full of greenery and the trees in bloom; summer, on the other hand, is synonymous with heat, sea, coolness of the mountains, and the long-awaited holidays. And autumn ?! It is the moment when the evenings become cooler and the days get shorter, the last late grapes are harvested in the vineyards and the olive trees are loaded with drupes, the woods and hills are colored with a thousand shades and the earth gives precious products . Together with mushrooms, truffles and chestnuts, in the cultivated fields and gardens they stand out with many orange and yellow colors: the pumpkins.

Pumpkin is a tasty and versatile vegetable, of various shapes and beautiful colors, and with its pulp you can cook countless recipes all year round. Its origins are not certain but it seems that it was born more than 8000 years ago. This vegetable belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family; the first to appear in our country was the Lagenaria (Lagenaria siceraria) a pumpkin with a cylindrical and elongated fruit. It is said that the plant was imported by the Phoenician peoples who began to cultivate it at the mouths of Italian rivers; the cultivation came to the Etruscans and then to the ancient Romans who greatly appreciated its pulp and its great qualities. In fact, there are many testimonies from that era that supported the spread of pumpkin just remember Pliny who defined his gifts as a "balm of troubles" for man.

With the discovery of the Americas, the history of the pumpkin in Europe changed because it was imported from overseas of various shapes and colors, especially the round and orange ones, beautiful and good, so much so that in a short time they played an important role in kitchen. Thanks to its great preservation power, this extraordinary vegetable is consumed almost all year round, it is used to prepare many sweet and savory dishes such as pumpkin and pistachio ice cream or various cakes or biscuits. You can assemble delicious salads in combination with lentils and barley, or cook soups, creams and velvets, cook it grilled or au gratin, or even use it to make bread.

The pumpkin is also part of beliefs and rituals, every year on October 31 we celebrate Halloween, a recurrence with ancient origins that has been handed down and evolved over the centuries up to the present day. It seems that this rite was practiced by the native Irish peoples as early as 500 BC. to celebrate "Samhain" or "the end of summer" towards the end of October. During the night it was customary to turn off all the hearths and let only the sacred fires of the druids burn, these would have the power to ward off evil spirits and ensure abundant harvests in the following season.

With the Christian influence on the British island the rite changed, however the custom of lighting propitiatory fires on the night before All Saints' Day was maintained. To keep them lit while protecting them from the wind, the Irish thought well of digging turnips and potatoes and inserting candles inside, thus starting the Halloween tradition. In the mid-nineteenth century in Ireland there was a great famine and this pushed the Irish to migrate to America, with them also their tradition which however underwent a change, the lights in fact began to be introduced into the pumpkins as these were already excavated and simpler to prepare; the custom soon spread throughout the country and also reached the Western world.

But now the time has come to discover together the pairing of pumpkin and wine at the table. This will certainly be influenced by the type of cooking of the pumpkin (steamed, grilled, fried, velvety), as well as by the structure of the other ingredients that make up the dish. We must also consider that the pumpkin is characterized by a delicate and sweetish flavor, therefore the right wine must be savory and not very structured in order not to overwhelm its flavor, or a label related to the dish will be chosen. The best known dish par excellence based on this exquisite cucurbitacea is undoubtedly the risotto with pumpkin, a refined first course prepared starting first from a fried onion to which the diced pumpkin is added and cooked with vegetable broth. When the rice is cooked, it is advisable to stir in butter and sprinkle with plenty of Parmesan cheese.

The choice of wine paired with this delicacy is wide; starting with sparkling wines in which the bubbles will degrease the palate from the greasiness of the risotto, we suggest you try it in combination with:
Moving on to white wines, we advise you to prefer a still and dry glass, which is at the same time full-bodied and soft like the Greco di Tufo De Falco, it Chardonnay Montaia or even the Friulano Ronco dei Tassi.

The combinations mentioned above are all suitable to accompany another famous and tasty dish: the cream of pumpkin. But if you prefer a match by "concordance", the wine must have the same characteristics as the dish and in this case you will need a sweet glass like the Lambrusco Grasparossa Amabile Corte Manzini.

By agreement, it must also be paired with the delicious pumpkin pie, a classic donut with the addition of pureed pulp that offers a tasty, soft and healthy dessert suitable for the whole family. In this case we will be able to choose a Moscato d'Asti - Winemakers of Santo Stefano Ceretto, or the Moscadello di Montalcino Pascena - late harvest - Tenuta col d'Orcia.

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