Halloween with Buonamico Wines
Tomorrow we celebrate Halloween, a very heartfelt party, particularly in Anglo-Saxon countries, which has also taken hold here in Italy in recent years. It is a celebration of Celtic origin, which has taken on “macabre” forms in the United States since the twentieth century.
Halloween is linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain: according to the Celtic calendar used 2000 years ago in England, Ireland, and northern France, the new year began on October 31st and represented a time to gather and celebrate. In 840, under Pope Gregory IV, the Catholic Church instituted the feast of All Saints for November 1st; the term “Halloween,” from the Scottish All Hallows’ Eve, would mean “Night of all sacred spirits,” that is the eve of All Saints.
In English, the term “digging” is said “to hollow,” and the act of digging is “hollowing.” The word Halloween seems to derive from this. However, some trace the origin of the name to the story of Jack o’Lantern, who the devil condemned to wander the world, illuminated only by the light of a hollowed-out pumpkin containing a candle.
After Protestantism broke off the All Saints tradition, Halloween took on more and more a secular connotation. Due to Irish immigration, this tradition soon spread to the United States, becoming one of the most important holidays of the whole year.
It is a tradition that children go from house to house in disguise to ask for sweets and candies on Halloween, with the question “trick or treat?”. It seems that this is a reference to the medieval tradition of almsgiving: in All Saints’ Day, poor people, masked, went from door to door asking for food in exchange for prayers for the dead.
Undoubtedly one of the most important symbols of Halloween is the carved pumpkin. The use of hollowing out pumpkins with scary expressions dates back to the Irish and Scottish tradition of carving turnips to make lanterns to remember the souls of Purgatory. Immigrants to the United States began to use pumpkins because they were available in large quantities, and being larger made the carving work easier.
In addition, the carved pumpkin was also linked to the previously mentioned legend of Jack o ‘Lantern: Jack was a drunkard who one evening met the devil in a pub. Being in a state of intoxication, his soul was almost totally devil, but Jack asked the devil to turn into a coin to allow him to pay for the last drink. In exchange, his soul would have belonged to Hell. However, once the devil had changed, Jack put it in his purse, where a silver cross prevented the devil from transforming back. To be released, the devil promised him that his soul would be free for another ten years. However, at the end of time, the devil came back, and Jack deceived him again, imprisoning him in a tree on whose trunk he had engraved a cross. This time, to get free, Satan promised to spare Jack eternal damnation. This one, however, had committed so many sins that, when he died, he was rejected by Heaven. He was thus forced to wander for eternity, illuminated by the light of a candle placed inside a pumpkin.
The pumpkins are also an integral part of a typical Halloween menu. On the tables of many families, on the night of October 31st, perhaps before the children go out to do “trick or treat,” dishes made with pumpkin abound.
Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable with many vitamins and few calories, perfect for staying in shape even in winter.
From the Marina di Chioggia to the long one in Naples, from the Mantuan one to the long one in Albenga, its different varieties lend themselves to many other recipes.
But which wines can be paired with a menu based on this typically autumn vegetable?
The cooked pumpkin pulp has a very marked sweet tendency, which Brut sparkling wines can well balance.
The Tenuta del Buonamico proposes, in its bouquet of wines, the Spumante Particolare Brut. It is a blend of Trebbiano, Semillon, and Pinot Blanc, which is made according to the Charmat method, with the addition of selected yeasts directly in an autoclave at a constantly controlled temperature. With a fermentation of about 120 days, there is an optimal froth, followed by an almost immediate filtration to preserve the natural freshness. After a few weeks of stay in the autoclave, the wine is bottled and refined there for 4 months. Of a beautiful straw yellow color with greenish reflections, the nose is floral. The hint of flowers soon gives way to aromas of white berry fruit and, on the finish, toasted bread. On the palate, it is complex, with a marked acidity that contrasts with balanced sugar content. The delicate and elegant perlage makes it drinkable and perfect for any occasion.
Sparkling wine like this is perfect to accompany dishes in which pumpkin is present “in purity,” such as velvety, baked pumpkin or pumpkin gnocchi seasoned with butter and sage. Try it also with the sardine fillets stuffed with pumpkin, sprinkled with little breadcrumbs, and baked in the oven, and you will be pleasantly surprised!
However, if an acid note is added to the velvety, with goat cheese or passion fruit, the sweetness of the pumpkin is mitigated, and therefore we can afford an aromatic white wine.
At Tenuta del Buonamico we offer you the M.I.O Viognier IGT Toscana: it is a 100% Viognier. Originally from the Rhône Valley, France is a vine with limited productivity, so it is easier to find it blended with other blends. On the other hand, having it in purity allows us to make the most of its organoleptic characteristics, and aging it in stainless steel allows us to keep its aromas unaltered. The nose is intense, fresh, floral, with a great note of citrus, peach, apricot, and tropical fruit, such as banana and pineapple. It is fresh, lively, and pleasantly bitter on the finish and is endowed with a vibrant minerality on the palate.
Perfect with spicy dishes, white meats, or raw fish, it will also amaze you with a typical Halloween pumpkin risotto or with pumpkin meatballs, fried or baked in the oven.
With more complex dishes, such as marinated pumpkin, or pumpkin Tortelli with parmesan and mustard, pairing must prefer a spicy and aromatic white wine.
At Buonamico, we offer you our Vasario IGT Toscana, a pure Pinot Bianco that ferments and refines at 30% in French oak tonneaux for about 8 months. This combines the typical elegance of Pinot Bianco with a series of easily perceptible tertiary aromas. The nose is intense, complex, with hints of flowers and yellow-fleshed fruit fused with vanilla and tropical fruit notes. It is broad and well structured, balanced, and with a soft and persistent finish on the palate. Try it with shellfish with light sauces, baked and baked fish, white meats with delicate sauces, and semi-mature cheeses. Also, enjoy it with sautéed pumpkin with rosemary or duck breast and pumpkin, for a combination that will leave you breathless.
However, the pumpkin is also perfect for making desserts, particularly the pumpkin tart, the Pumpkin Pie, the pumpkin muffins, the pumpkin, and the chocolate roll.
For these desserts, Tenuta del Buonamico proposes its Spumante Particolare Dolce, made with 100% Moscato grapes. Also, in this case, the sparkling process occurs according to the Charmat method: the sparkling process is carried out directly from the must in an autoclave at a constantly controlled temperature. After fermentation, which lasts about 120 days, there is an almost immediate filtration, followed by a few weeks of aging in an autoclave. Bottling, in turn, is followed by a small refinement in the bottle.
Of good freshness, on the palate, it is soft, floral, intense, pleasant, with a long-lasting taste -olfactory and a fine and elegant perlage. The scent has hints of peach, exotic fruit, nutmeg, candied fruit, and grapes, enriched with notes of sage, honey, and orange blossom. Being perfect with yeast dough or sponge cakes and dry pastries, we recommend it with pumpkin biscuits or pumpkin and cocoa shortbread, which will also be excellent for the classic “trick or treat.”
So, enjoy a Halloween party, don’t forget to uncork a good bottle of Buonamico wine, and you will see that the party will be even better!