Ah, summer! The sun, the warmth, the sea... well, you might have to wait a little longer for the sea, but you can always organise a dinner to remember its scents and flavours. Whether on the balcony or in the garden, all you need is good company, some background music and our suggestions for food and wine pairings, and you're off (at least in your imagination) to your favourite maritime destination.
So pick up your glass and let's go! Here's our summer menu for a seafood dinner, from aperitif to dessert!
Aperitif: the first dance
Don't underestimate the aperitif, because it's the evening's calling card. They say that "well begun is half done": nothing could be truer if you want to surprise your guests, without showing your full hand. With temperatures rising and bringing one out in a sweat, it's best to choose simple, fresh snacks. Tomato bruschetta, for example, is the evergreen favourite that never grows old. If you just want to whet their appetites, put some simple roasted nuts on the table. The important thing is to have an ONICE Spumante, the extra dry bubbly that must be served chilled: thirst-quenching and very fresh, it's the right way to start a summer seafood dinner.
The starter: now we're really underway
Here you’re faced with an important first decision. Cold or hot starter? In the first case, you can choose between the great classics, such as tuna or octopus carpaccio, seafood salad or cod canapés, and the more 'creative' dishes: with a salted salmon and avocado cheesecake or finger food made with buffalo mozzarella, prawns and lemon zest, you are sure to impress everyone. For these options, choose delicate whites, not too alcoholic or dominating, so as not to overwhelm the delicate flavours of fresh fish: a DICASA Vino Bianco or Eventus Bianco are perfect. If, on the other hand, you're serving a hot starter, such as prawn tempura in single servings or tuna meatballs, you can opt for a more structured white wine such as Fiano Puglia IGT or Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie DOC.
What should you pair with fish starters?
Since the body of the wine should be proportionate to the structure of the dish, depending on the first course you choose, you should go for a more elegant and delicate wine or one with more structure and complexity. For example, for tasty spaghetti with clams or a delicious seafood risotto, try a white with good flavour and aroma, such as an organic Chardonnay Puglia IGT: it's smooth, soft and mellow on the palate, a perfect match to bring out the flavours of these classic summer dishes. If, on the other hand, you have lighter dishes on the table, such as black rice with courgettes and prawns or fregola with swordfish and cherry tomatoes, Giulia Vino Bianco is just what you need to enjoy them to the full.
Fish mains? Here's what to choose
Matching a wine with a fish main course is not easy, but with a little research and our advice, you'll be able to find the perfect pairing. Fish is a very versatile food and there are many different ways of cooking it, so the combination possibilities are vast. Dry whites, more or less structured, are certainly the 'simplest' choice: a Vermentino di Sardegna, for example, with its particular minerality and delicacy, is well suited to be drunk with grilled fish, while a Riesling dell'Oltrepò Pavese goes well with scallops, molluscs, shellfish and sushi. If you love bubbles and don't want to miss out on the fizz, try a Ribolla Gialla Spumante: its fine, persistent perlage, together with its citrus and mineral notes, make it an excellent alternative to a classic still white.
The grand finale - dessert!
And for a dinner prepared to perfection, the only fitting conclusion is a fresh dessert! A good idea is to create fruit-based desserts, ideal for refreshing and cleansing the palate after the fish dishes. Simple, juicy, chocolate-covered strawberries are always welcome, especially when paired with a Rosé Vino Spumante Millesimato with its bright pink colour and aromas of currants, raspberries, red roses and citrus fruits - a real treat on a warm summer's evening. For a sweet conclusion to your meal, we also recommend limoncello cream, which should be served well chilled for maximum enjoyment. And if you want to play it really safe, you can always choose the classic Prosecco Millesimato, because with it you can never go wrong!