The soft creamy fizz of Italy's famous sparkling wine Prosecco makes it a marvellous match for Italian panettone which is not too rich or too sweet to overwhelm it. I discovered the combination a couple of years ago when I tried the celebratory Easter dove-shaped Colomba Pasquale which is topped with crystallised sugar with a glass of Bisol’s elegant Cartizze Prosecco de Valdobbiadene which sells in the UK for roughly 16 a bottle (check out wine-searcher.com for stockists)
Coincidentally a mailing has just dropped into my inbox from a US based importer of luxury Italian foods called gustiamo.com offering a designer Colomba for $70 which must make it the most expensive panettone on the planet! It’s made by Signor Marchesi, owner of the historic Pasticceria Marchesi in Milan (where else?) and apparently contains ‘fresh mountain butter’ (no doubt the reason for the cost!) Carluccio's in the UK has a more modestly priced one for £13.99 which no longer seems to be available by mail order but which you should be able to find in one of their caffes. Or head for your local Italian deli who will probably have one cheaper still.
Bill Gunn, the UK importer of Pol Roger, told me once their ‘rich’ cuvée goes well with panettone too. Gustiamo recommends Moscato. Any of these combinations would be a stylish way to round off an Easter meal if you haven’t got time to make a pud.
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