Hello, wine lovers and happy Wednesday to you. I am up in the beautiful Okanagan Valley this week for B.C. VQA wine panels.
I am continuing to buckle under and study for my Champagne master level exam this February. The course is getting more interesting or the frequency of my studying is allowing my brain to actually soak up major amounts of information that I can retain – hurray!
For your drinking and dining pleasure this week – I have suggestions for you on what champagne to drink with food, and yes, you CAN and should have champagne for breakfast! Champagne is not just for celebration – it is a wine to be enjoyed throughout the day and definitely throughout the course of a meal.
Think about some champagne and food pairings you may have tried or heard of…maybe champagne and strawberries? Champagne and chocolate? Ah ha – these are two foods that are close to impossible to pair with champagne. So here are a few thoughts to mull over when you are thinking about buying your next bottle of champagne:
- Non-Vintage (NV): When in doubt, purchase a bottle of NV champagne which is the house label I discussed in my last post. Look for Billecart-Salmon Brut to hit many notes you are after – one very fine NV Brut champagne.
- Extra Brut or Brut Nature: These champagnes have had little or no sugar added during the winemaking process. Excellent with oysters, ceviche, and canapés. Reach for Pol Roger Pure Extra Brut or Jacquesson Cuvée No. 733 D.T. Extra Brut.
- Blanc de Blancs: This is a champagne made only with Chardonnay grapes. When you are looking to pair scallops, salad with cheese and nuts or fried foods – select one of these reductive, lively bottles such as Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Brut or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs.
- Blanc de Noirs: A fuller champagne made with only Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. Best suited for duck, red meat, and game – think Bollinger Special Cuvée – always a favourite choice of mine.
- Rosé: What you have been waiting for – the champagne to serve with eggs! Amazing when paired with Quiche Lorraine (or any egg dish in my opinion), lobster and fruit. Two to try – Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut and Ruinart Brut Rosé NV.
- Aged or Vintage: Well, this is my personal happy place because extra age champagnes and vintage champagnes go well with three of my favourite things: cream, mushrooms and cheese…happiness is. Get indulgent with Lanson Extra Age or Jacquesson 2004 Avize “Champ Cain”.
One of my favourite American authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald, says it perfectly, “Too much of anything is bad but too much champagne is just right.”