Liquid Appetizers


What’s your pre-dinner drink of choice?

I’ve recently discovered a drink called Lillet (LEE-lay) and I am smitten.  It is a French aperitif created in 1872 and is made of a blend of Bordeaux wines and citrus liqueur.  Since buying my first bottle of it, hardly an evening goes by where I don’t start my meal with a glass of this lovely drink.  So just what is an aperitif?  By definition, it is an alcoholic beverage served before a meal to stimulate the appetite.  Lots of folks also call it by its Italian name, aperitivo.  Typically, an aperitif is served alone, but it is also popular to serve with a small appetizer like potato chips or nuts.  The theory is that, once finished, you are hungry for dinner…unless you eat the whole bowl of chips which I may or may not have done a few times.  Personally, I just love the concept of a drink before dinner.  It’s perfect after a long day to sit or prepare dinner with a cool, delicious adult beverage.  They’re also great for entertaining: your guests arrive and serving a drink is a great way to break the ice and initiate conversation.

Classic aperitifs are “supposed to be” on the dry or bitter side – think Negroni’s, champagne and martinis – but rules schmules, right?   They don’t have to be.  Lillet, for example, is on the sweeter side.

Know what else makes a great aperitif?  Wine.  In fact, here a few Ponte wines that we love for pre-dinner sipping:

2012 Moscato – Our beloved sparkling wine is refreshing with apricot and nectarine flavors.  It’s wonderful with salty, kettle-cooked potato chips.

Beverino – Our famous “red that’s kinda sweet,” Beverino is best as an aperitif when it’s slightly chilled.  If serving with food, try pairing Beverino with figs and goat cheese.

2012 Torrontes – Our Argentinian sweetheart, Torrontes, is a medium-bodied white wine with melon and citrus flavors.  It is fantastic with marcona almonds, those sinfully-good, skinless almonds glistening with oil and salt.

2010 Tempranillo – Leave it to the Spaniards to create a wine that is perfect with tapas and other small bites.  Serve this with cured meats and you can’t go wrong.

Whatever your favorite, you can try a cold aperitif or aperitivo or your favorite Ponte Wine any evening in The Cellar Lounge.

How about you?  What do you like to drink or serve before a meal?

–Erica Martinez


Posted by , June 12, 2013 No comments

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