The mark of a life well spent can be measured by the time enjoying good food and drinks with friends. An aperitivo is just the tradition to adopt if you’re searching for an excuse to slow down and upgrade your evening wind down. Here, we have offered our favorite wines, cocktails, and small-bite pairings to get your started. Curated by our friend, and talented sommelier, Jordan Rosado, don’t be surprised if you find yourself craving these pairings each week.
Food is to be enjoyed. Savored. The quality and presentation of the food you buy is key to a heightened experience. The aperitivo is meant to be an act of love designed to pamper and relax you. Take time when selecting and crafting these plates. That is also part of the experience.
Photo Credit: Bellini Travel @bellinitravel
Our Favorite Italian Wines Right Now
Barbera Barolo // MARCHESI DI BAROLO BARBERA MARAIA, 2017 $17
This one is a medium body barbera, rich in blueberry and boysenberry, with slight earthiness and spiced notes, from the popular wine making region of piedmont Northern Italy.
Pairing: Pairs well with any Italian deli cuts. I'd pair this with some burrata cheese as well as garlic herb crostini and roasted Campari tomatoes.
Chianti Classico // TENUTA DI RENIERI CHIANTI CLASSICO, 2016 $17
Well-balanced medium to full body red, with blueberry and lavender bouquet, this wine has a velvety finish.
Pairing: Eat with mini Italian pizzas topped with cured meats or meatballs. If you’d also like to pair this with an easy to make at home dish, mini meatballs with rustic tomato sauce is great.
// Mix equal parts Italian sausage with 90/10 beef, add Italian breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and Italian vinaigrette. Shape, cook, and add your favorite red sauce once it's ready and serve with picks.
Romancello (original recipe):
3 lemon wedges
1oz elderflower liqueur
.05 oz Cointreau
.25 oz egg white
Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass (sugar rim optional). Garnished with slightly burned rosemary.
Pairing: The Roman cello is perfect for cocktail shrimp.
1oz Sweet vermouth
1oz Citadelle Gin
Stir with ice, serve over a big ice cube in a bucket glass.
Pairing: The Negroni would pair well with Italian cured meats, like soppressata, prosciutto, or salami served with dried peaches and baked crostini.
1oz peach nectar
.05oz peach Schnapps
Top off with Mionetto prosecco
Add ingredients to a flute glass then top of the prosecco halfway.
Pairing: The Bellini pairs well with pistachio gelato for dessert.
If you’re looking for more cocktail inspiration, take a peek at our favorite bubbly summer cocktails. And remember, aperitivo is an occasion. Bring a level of mindfulness to the practice. It might very well be the most important thing you do with your time.