Schramsberg 2009 Brut Rosé ($43), our Wine of the Week, is a beauty, with a coy effervescence and a cornucopia of flavors that range from fresh berries to toasted pineapple, with tiny ribbons of mango, papaya and mangosteen and bursts of clove and cardamom punctuating lively, refreshing acidity. It's a wine that makes you sigh “ahhhhh” as you raise your glass for another sip.
As you would expect from Schramsberg, long one of the finest sparkling-wine houses in the world, this sparkler is suave, sophisticated and elegant, with an appealing subtlety and flawless balance.
One way to think about this wine is that it has a broad reach, as if its arms were flung open wide to welcome the world, which is to say, the world of flavors. It is as delicious with a rare bacon burger with all the trimmings as it is with a spoonful of caviar. You can enjoy this sparkler with sushi — it's extraordinary with unagi (eel) — and shellfish. It's outstanding with roasted chicken, roasted turkey and ham, and a great choice with cheeses, dried fruits and tree nuts. It is lovely with chocolate.
The wine is also excellent with sweet potatoes, as its suggestion of spiciness resonates beautifully with the tuber's sweetness. Sweet potato salad, roasted sweet potato wedges with a delicate vinaigrette, sweet potato soufflé and a sauté of sweet and savory potatoes spiked with sweet paprika all are flattered by this wine.
Sweet potato chips are a good match, too, and a fun one, which brings us to today's recipe, homemade sweet potato chips with caviar dip, a dish inspired by a recipe in a sweet little book “Caviar, Truffles and Foie Gras” by Katherine Alford (Chronicle Books, 2001).
Sweet Potato Chips with Caviar Dip
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1/4 cup creme fraiche
3/4 cup natural (without gum or other additives) cream cheese
— Cream, as needed
3 scallions, trimmed and minced, or 2 tablespoons fresh snipped chives