Pairing no. 1: appetizers
Whet their appetites with a pure, refreshing champagne. Go for a "brut zéro dosage" also known as a "non dosé" or "brut nature" - in other words, a champagne without any dosage (a sweetened wine liquor) added. Perfect with smoked salmon toasts!
Pairing no. 2: ocean flavors
Seafood, crustaceans, fish… They all call for a Blanc de Blancs champagne – made exclusively with Chardonnay grapes – from one of the celebrated Côte des Blancs terroirs, preferably a younger bottle. Its vivacity, minerality and finesse will complement the sea flavor of these dishes beautifully without overwhelming them.
Pairing no. 3: meat
That's right, champagne can be paired with poultry, be it turkey or capon, and even works with other meats! Your selection will depend on how you are preparing the meat. The more intense the dish, the more robust and winey your champagne should be. Roasted poultry? Then a champagne made with a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier will be perfect. Red meat or game served in a sauce? Then it's better to up the intensity, with a Blanc de Noirs champagne made entirely from black grapes (Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier).
Pairing no. 4: cheese
Champagnes partner wonderfully with cheeses… Especially those that have aged for 10, even 15 years! Their effervescence, which balances out the fat of the cheese, their slight oxidation and their autumnal aromas make them a perfect match for cheeses with a bloomy rind, like a truffle flavored Brie or a Brillat-Savarin.
Pairing no. 5: dessert
Dessert and champagne aren't always a good combination, especially in the case of bubbles and chocolate. But imagine an orange-based creation paired with a young rosé champagne, which often reveals citrussy aromas?
Matching the right champagne with the right dish is one thing, but you need to serve it correctly too! The right temperature? Never below 46 °F, otherwise you risk hardening or solidifying it and killing the flavor and bubbles. The right glass? Neither a flute (too restrictive), nor a coupe (too open). A wine glass, on the other hand, will allow your champagne to express its aromas both distinctly and fully!
On the same subject
Raise Your Glass to a Festive Season with the best varietal wines from France, courtesy of Virgin Wines!
In partnership with Vin de France