Naturally sweet, Brachetto d’Acqui is fantastic with fruity, creamy, or chocolaty desserts, such as fruit tarts, strawberry ice cream, brownies, chocolate mousse, or Crème Brûlée. The fizzy and light fruity flavours of Brachetto d’Acqui also make it lovely with lighter savoury dishes like honey-baked ham, Canadian Bacon, scrambled eggs, chicken fajitas, or anything in a sweet and sour sauce.
Brachetto d’Acqui is a sweet and fizzy red dessert wine from Italy (although still versions and dry versions exist) with notes of strawberry, raspberry, cherry, vanilla and roses.
Growing up, in my house in Ontario, Strawberry Shortcake was treated as a meal whenever strawberries were in season. Some days, I ate it as breakfast, lunch and dinner as we only had a two week window of perfect strawberries. My mom made our Strawberry Shortcake using angel food cake, French vanilla ice cream, and loads of strawberries. I mention all of this as my family took Strawberry Shortcake super seriously. When my father passed away, at his memorial we served 80 guests Strawberry Shortcake.
I love strawberries and made sure every bite had a bit of strawberry, but by the end I was always left with cake. With Brachetto d’Acqui, you don’t have to ration your strawberries as this spritzy but sweet red wine will keep you refreshed throughout the meal. The strawberry notes of the wine complement the shortcake, while the acidity of the wine cuts through the ice cream, making the strawberries taste even brighter.
While Brachetto d’Acqui is sweet, it’s not cloyingly sweet, but more slightly sweet than a dry wine, such as Merlot or a Shiraz. The fruity flavours are a touch candied, and on top of that, it has floral notes of roses, violets and orchids, which remind you of an early summer day. Perfect with Strawberry Shortcake at the picnic table while you enjoy a lazy sunset!
Ganache & Brachetto d’Acqui Pairing
Ganache is a French chocolate sauce that is made up of chocolate and cream. From there, it can be used as icing on cakes or drizzled on pastries. Brachetto d’Acqui makes a lovely pairing as chocolate and strawberries go hand in hand. The fruitiness and the acidity of this red dessert wine cut through the richness of the Ganache frosting, making you eager for every new bite.
Crème Brûlée & Brachetto d’Acqui Pairing
The acidity and the bubbles in Brachetto d’Acqui make it an ideal pairing for creamy desserts like Crème Brûlée as they cut through the rich flavours. Typically, with creamy desserts, your taste buds get clogged by the dish’s fats and carbohydrates. This sometimes leaves you unfulfilled, as the rich flavours become muted, and might have you reaching for seconds. Brachetto d’Acqui sweeps in and clears the fats and sugars away, so each bite tastes as fresh as the next, leaving you satisfied.
Canadian Bacon & Brachetto d’Acqui Pairing
As a Canadian, I can assure you that Canadian Bacon is not called Bacon, as we typically associate Bacon with the same tasty slices of meat that Americans eat. However, we tend to call it back Bacon or Peameal Bacon. Canadian Bacon is cured meat cut from the pig loin and often rolled in cornmeal before being sliced. This makes for a leaner cut of Bacon that is both sweet and salty and more akin to ham.
The sweetness of Brachetto d’Acqui complements the sweet notes of Canadian Bacon from the cornmeal. Meanwhile, the refreshing bubbly and fruit flavours of the wine help whisk away the salty cured flavours of the Canadian Bacon. Low in alcohol, a glass or two of Brachetto d’Acqui won’t get you loaded, should you enjoy this combination at breakfast or brunch.
Chicken Fajitas & Brachetto d’Acqui Pairing
Because it’s light, bubbly, low in alcohol (between 5%-7%), and fruity, Brachetto d’Acqui is perfect with anything slightly spicy. The fruity flavours and bubbles help snuff out the heat and allow the warm spices you’ve never noticed before to shine through.
Do not worry if you’ve loaded your Chicken Fajitas with shredded cheese, guacamole, refried beans, or sour cream, do not worry. The acidity in Brachetto ensures that this wine will help cut through these dense foods and give each flavour a chance in the spotlight to sing as the flavours mingle in your mouth. Brachetto d’Acqui will also go fine with Salsa due to the wine’s acidity.
I owe this pairing of Chicken Fajitas and Brachetto to Our Good Life, who turned me on to this outstanding pairing.