Monday, August 1, 2011


 “Champagne is known as the “King of wines” or as most people say it is the “wine for kings”. Probably the best description of Champagne is by Dom Perignon when he had his first taste, “Come quickly, I am tasting stars”. Usually served as an aperitif or as a toast at the end of a meal; hence it is often overlooked when it comes to food. However, because Champagne is naturally acidic, it makes a really good food match - and not just for oysters and caviar as you might predict, but for a variety of different foods. Most people reserve Champagne only for tasting but I can assure you it would be the perfect drink for your next cocktail, brunch or Vacation Party! I also feel one reason people shy away from champagne is as they are not too sure what types of foods to pair with it. I would like to add here that it is a must have for any fan of sparkling wines or nice dry whites, and remember to have it with some food as champagnes are not just for celebration after all. So go on and give it a go if you can, it's a great wine from an amazing and historic winery, and trust me - you won't be disappointed! Once in awhile, you should serve it just for the sheer pleasure to be derived from its tricky bubbles.


Heavy foods or main entrees, usually do not go well with Champagne, however there are innumerous foods that pair beautifully with it, making for yummy finger foods and an elegant looking soirée. The thumb rule is that the food shouldn't overtake the wine. Therefore the food you serve with champagne should be light, not spicy and not oily. The food you choose ought to be more along the line of light appetizers or light, soft cheese and eggs.


Blanc de Blanc Champagne

The Grape- Literally translates into white wine from white grapes and this is made exclusively from Chardonnay.
Goes great with- Sushi makes a winning combination. Seafood like Oysters, crustaceans and gently flavored white fish. It is also good with vegetables and great as a pre-dinner aperitif. Goat cheese goes very well with Blanc de Blanc. I simply love it with Sushi.

Blanc de Noirs

The Grape- made solely from red Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, with a deeper golden color than the Blanc de Blanc.
Goes great with- Lighter meat dishes like chicken dinners, pigeon breast, partridge, veal, and Pork. Is also wonderful with cheese. It went really well with one of the Light chicken dinners with vegetables that I had hosted.

Non-Vintage Champagnes

The Grape- While most houses mix together the three main grape varieties that are planted in the Champagne appellation – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – the proportion of each will vary. Some non-vintage wines are wholly made from Chardonnay (Blanc de Blanc) or from black grapes (Blanc de noirs). They are made from grapes from multiple vintages.
Goes great with- Generally fruitier and lighter hence recommended with cheeses such as Beaufort, Gruyère and Emmental. It is also great with mushroom dishes especially mushroom risotto. As for me I love it my Fish and Chips and scrambled eggs too.

Vintage Champagnes
The Grape- A vintage is that which is made from grapes that were mostly grown and harvested in a particular year. Vintage year is declared if the Champagne is good enough and a cut above other years. The grapes used are all from one specific vintage.
Goes great with- Black truffle-scented foods and with cheeses such as Parmesan and lightly smoked foods. All types of fish and seafood, especially when accompanied with a creamy sauce are a perfect match, as are lightly smoked foods, cheese, duck, caviar and poultry with a rich sauce. As for me I love White Tuna Carpaccio with Truffles paired with Tattinger’s Vintage version. Moet Et Chandon with their vintage recommend grilled King Prawns marinated in citrus fruit (lemon, grapefruit, orange) or smoked haddock with aniseed butter and pureed fennel.

Non-Vintage Rosé

The Grape- Commonly known as Pink champagne is either from extended contact with the grape skins or by the addition of some red wine.
Goes great with- A very food friendly wine goes well with prawns, lobster and other seafood. It will go wonderfully with the freshness of a delicious Andalusian gazpacho.I love it with a grilled Fillet of sole Fish topped with lemon butter or simply some Ham.

Vintage Rosé

The Grape- As the non –Vintage, but, the wine is from a Vintage year (a cut above the rest).
Goes great with- Most have a rich, savory character and is delicious with meat dishes, and the power to stand up to high levels of herbs and spices specifically basil, mint and coriander as well as Japanese cuisine. I think scallops, roasted, with grilled red peppers and chopped almonds are decadent with the Moet Et Chandon Brut Imperial Vintage Rose.

Demi Sec Champagnes
The Grape- Demi Sec is a term used to define a wine with medium sweetness; it can be a blend of any grapes. In Champagne, the addition of a dosage or liquer d’expedition after the secondary fermentation determines sweetness.
Goes great with- Foie gras is an obvious example. An edge of sweetness to the food (like many classic Thai recipes) then this style can provide a better match than dry. Dessert dishes too of course, but only if not too sweet. Duval Leroy suggests bread and butter pudding, jam pancakes and apple and quince tart with the Demi-Sec. It is recommended at weddings when serving the wedding cake. I love it with strawberries

Published in HT city (writer Rupali Dean)