When you think of Champagne do you instantly think of a celebration? For most people the answer is yes. It’s the epitome of sparkling, celebratory style, and people either tend to drink it on its own, or pair it with delectable, luxurious seafood such as caviar or oysters. Some might even consider it something of a cliché. However, trying some of these top ten refreshing recommendations from Epicurious for unusual food and champagne pairings will pique your interest in this classic wine. Champagne IS expensive, so search out the best champagne deals to enjoy a little affordable luxury.
- Champagne and Cheese
Who Knew Champagne and Cheese Could Go so Well? Cheese is often paired with red wine, but a sophisticated choice is to match it with a fruity, white wine. A sparkling, acidic Blanc de Blanc, made from Chardonnay grapes, becomes intensely fruity as it ages and is an excellent match with a strong, salty yet creamy cheese such as Roquefort. The fruity and floral notes of the champagne will complement the ripe flavours of the cheese while its acidity cuts through the Roquefort’s richness.
- Champagne and Chocolate
Traditionally, champagne has not been recommended as a good partner for chocolate desserts, but dark, bitter chocolate with a hint of orange is a match made in heaven for a rosé Champagne. These champagnes are usually made from a 70%/30% blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, and dark chocolate intensifies the complexity of the rosé flavours. Try your rosé with a chocolate-orange mousse made with good-quality dark chocolate, or for the comfort-food option, break open a pack of Jaffa cakes; they are a surprisingly excellent match. Maybe it’s the biscuity, crumbly texture of the “cake” which marries the combination of flavours so well.
- Champagne and Fish and Chips
As mentioned above, champagne is often thought of as a partner for luxury seafood, but have you thought about pairing it with classic British fish and chips? Once again it is the acidity and sparkle of champagne which comes to the fore. The effervescence of the wine will complement the crispy batter of the fish, and the acidity will cut through the richness of the fried food. A Brut style of champagne would be an excellent choice to pair with fish and chips, complete with a side dish of mushy peas.
- Champagne and Sushi
The refreshing dryness of Brut and Extra Brut champagne styles goes very well with some Japanese food, such as sushi. The delicate flavours of the raw fish and rice are very compatible with the champagne; this matching of flavours is successful because of the yeastiness that is found in both the champagne and the soy flavouring used in the preparation of sushi.
- Champagne and Curry
More usually partnered by cold beer, the exotic spices of Asian food are well-partnered by dry styles of champagne. Champagne goes very well with dishes flavoured with ginger, and some champagnes are described as having a “curry-like” nose. The golden effervescence of a Blanc de Noir, made from red grapes, has notes of plum, wheat and spices and is an excellent partner for curry dishes.
Thanks to Tesco for sponsoring this post which helps to keep the lights on around here. When John’s son went to university at Reading we’d always shop at Tesco. It was the first time I’d ever seen the checkout staff seated and thought someone really smart runs things in this company.