Among the various wines I received over the holidays was this bottle of Sergio Mionetto White Edition. As you know, I rarely write about wines on the shelves of mass retailers, but this time I decided to make an exception since the product, as a whole, lends itself to be given as a gift for a New Year's Eve dinner at a friend's houseas long as these friends are not as pretentious as I am when it comes to wine and especially bubbles... Of course, one must learn to choose a wine that even a less well-informed public can understand, and I am sure that you too have at least a friend who looks for fruit, freshness, simplicity and good residual sugar in sparkling wines!
It presents itself of a beautiful bright straw yellowwith a fairly fine perlage and very numerous forming a abundant and evanescent foam. The nose is very fruitywith scents of pear, white flowers and sugared almonds. In the mouth is soft, quite fresh e crunchy. The residual sugar is strong and clear and therefore lends itself to being combined with barbed fish not overly tasty by contrast or 'not too sweet' desserts by concordance.
When I found myself thinking of a perfect match for this wine, I was very hesitant whether to choose a sweet or savoury preparation, and which would be its main ingredient. At first I was opting for a barbed fish, perhaps my legendary seared salmon with soy and rice vinegar, then I decided - it must be the Christmas air - to indulge in a sweet and traditional preparation: meringues with cream. My grandmother Lelia and my aunt Anna have always prepared them masterfully, and I have always tried to 'steal' their secrets. I am even luckier than them, because I have the magnificent Kenwood Chef kneading machine and I make much less effort... but I confess that theirs are always more perfect than mine. There's nothing I can do: no tool and innovation can stand in the way of human experience!
I chose this recipe because it is a 'non-sweet dessert' in that by not overdoing the sugar, even though it is a main ingredient, you never have a cloying effect! But how do you prepare meringues with cream?
Meringues with cream: the 'secret' recipe
Ingredients for the meringue shells:
250 g cold egg whites from the fridge;
500 g caster sugar;
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or 1 teaspoon lemon paste).
Ingredients for the cream
500 ml fresh cream;
1 tablespoon icing sugar;
vanilla seeds (from a stick) to taste.
Meringues with cream: preparing the recipe
- In the planetary mixer put the egg whites with 100 g sugar and start whipping the mixture;
- Add another 200 g sugar very slowly while whipping;
- When the mixture is stiff, incorporate the remaining 200 g sugar gently stirring from the bottom upwards with a spatula;
- Put the mixture into a pastry bag and create the shells on a baking tray with baking paper. I normally use a plain nozzle, but you can also use a star nozzle... a matter of taste. The number of shells obtained obviously varies depending on how big you make them!
- Bake for 10 minutes in a static oven preheated to 170 °C, then lower the oven to 110 °C and leave to bake for at least 2 hours with the door held slightly open with a wooden spoon. They are cooked when they take on a nice pink colour!
- Whip the very cold cream with the icing sugar and vanilla seeds (please don't use vanilla flavours or vanillin... they taste really bad!), then put it in a piping bag and fill half of the meringue shells you have prepared and then combine them to make these exquisite sweets.
Although they have sugar as the main ingredient, these meringues are not particularly sweet, thanks to the lemon and cream that give acidity and balance. This is why they lend themselves very well to being paired with this sparkling wine which, with a residual sugar content of around 20 g/l, has in itself a perfect softness for this combination.
If you want to try a savoury pairing instead, I recommend trying it with barbed fish with delicate flavours such as salmon. In my opinion, however, it remains too sweet for this type of pairing, rather turn it into a pleasant toast during aperitifs this holiday season!
P.S. Have you tried following the hashtag #Mionetto on Instagram? You'll discover another delicious pairing for this Sergio Mionetto White Edition sparkling wine!