Champagne is not only aperitif

02/04/2020

Champagne can be enjoyed before and after anything.
It is probably the most versatile gastronomic wine, successfully coping with any food from appetiser to dessert due to the high acidity that stimulates the papillae and refreshes the palate. And because it is produced in a very wide variety of styles. Not surprisingly the great chefs of the world create complete menus specially dedicated to this wine

Champagne is rightly a “must have” for aperitif. The effervescence of a Bollinger Special Cuvee opens the appetite, spoils the taste buds and creates a state of joy. Because of this reputation we often forget that champagne is primarily a wine.

The Extra Brut style, a trend of recent years, is the driest assortment and is an excellent aperitif with canapés, oysters, ceviche. Try the latest vintage 2012 launched by Louis Roederer Brut Nature 2012

Rosé is adorable to associate. If it is a fresh type as Taittinger NV, it comes well with almost any canapés, shrimps, lobster. If it is a mature one as Moet Grand Vintage 2012 you will feel like like a celebration when sipped with a good beef.

Vintage or Prestige Cuvée aged champagnes are excellent with creamy sauces, mushrooms, truffles, cheeses.

As for the association of cheeses with champagne, another  world of tastes opens. Regional cheeses from Champagne such as Langres, Chaource, Brie de Meaux or Brillant Savarin should be experimented with champagne because there is a natural affinity between food and wine. The popular Comté makes a safe marriage and as you deepen the  research you will associate champagne to the maturation of the cheese. Parmesan is sublime accompanied by an aged rosé.

What is not a good combination with champagne?

Cake. The elegance of this wine is dominated by the aromatic opulence and sweetness of the cake especially if it is chocolate. Be careful the next time you are offered champagne at a celebration. You will easily understand the dissonance. However, it can be associated with some fine desserts that contain fruit and sponge which is not very sweet.

Once you know something about the wine you will naturally know how to match the food. It is not a philosophy but it requires a minimal understanding of the wine components – consistency, aromas, acidity, sugar, effervescence – as these are making the association.

Apart from these considerations, the universally valid rule is to choose the wine you like at the food you like. It is a natural practice that cannot be challenged by anyone. Associating champagne with food should be a pleasure, not a constraint. Dare to experiment!

With love and effervescence,

Olimpia Pleșa Brandhuber

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