This spin on a Chicago Lenten classic is simple but also a little rich, so any wine that you match with it needs to stand up to that richness and not get bogged down by it. These three wines — a chardonnay-based Champagne plus a big rosé and a red on the lighter side, both from Italy — have the acidity to cut through, plus their own aromas and flavors to complement this Friday staple during Lent.
Make this: Sandwich with an Egg and a Pepper
Slice a focaccia roll in half horizontally. Spread the inside of the top half with olive tapenade. Place half a roasted pepper on the bottom half; top with a fried egg, then 1 or 2 slices Taleggio (or provolone) cheese. Sprinkle with plenty of baby arugula leaves. Close with the top half of the focaccia. Makes: 1 servings
Recipe by Joe Gray
Pairings by sommelier Rachael Lowe of Spiaggia, as told to Michael Austin:
Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Premier Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, Cuis, Cote des Blancs, Champagne, France: This 100 percent chardonnay offers high acidity, plus aromas of green apple, pear, almond skin, chamomile and a chalky minerality — all balanced by tiny, cleansing bubbles. The crisp finish will cut through the richness of the egg and cheese.
2016 Elena Walch 20/26 Rosato, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy: A blend of pinot nero, lagrein and merlot, this rosé offers notes of cran-apple, macerated strawberries, purple flowers and brambly raspberry preserves with a rich, round texture, a hint of tannin and pleasant acidity. The red fruit will stand up well to the roasted pepper and tapenade, but also allow the egg to shine.
2015 Luciano Sandrone Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont, Italy: This red is light enough to let the egg, Taleggio and arugula shine through yet robust enough to stand up to the provencale flavors of the tapenade and pepper. Aromas of cassis, plum skin, black cherry, dried herbs and smoke will mingle with the earthy olive notes, while racy acidity will cut through the dish’s richness.
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Credit: Family contributed photo