Champagne is the festive wine. Most of the time, we open a bottle of Champagne for special occasions, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. It is usually drunk during the aperitive; but did you know that a bottle of Champagne can match with an entire meal?
How to choose a Champagne for a meal?
Before going into an elaboration of a Champagne-menu, it is necessary to know the differences between the Champagnes.
When a champagne is produced, a “liqueur de dosage” is used (wine mixed with cane sugar), also known as “liqueur d’expédition”. Thus, the softer will be the champagne, the sweeter it is. And the other way around, the dryer a Champagne will be, the less sweet it is.
Then you will find different types of Champagne, depending of the choice of your menu:
Sweet: more than 50g/litre
Semi-dry: between 32 and 50g/litre
Dry: between 17 and 32g/litre
Extra dry: between 12 and 17g/litre
Brut: less than 12g/litre
Extra brut: between 0 and 6g/litre
Champagne for starter plates?
Champagne and oysters: a positive match?
If you choose a starter plate with seafoods like oysters, choose a Champagne not much sweet and mineral made from Chardonnay (blanc de blancs). It will always be a solid value! For example, le Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs “mag” of Champagne AR Lenoble is an elegant accompaniment to seafood.
Champagne and foie gras: a delighted match?
We usually combine a glass of dessert wine like a Sauternes with this starter. But, unlike a sauternes which makes your palate heavy with a high ratio of sugar, a Champagne will bring freshness. The acidity and the sparkling side will create a balance and lighten the fat of the foie gras. Thus, we will not look for a sweet Champagne, but a dry and fruity one. Then choose for a Champagne largely made of Pinot Noir and Meunier. Rosé Champagne can be an answer for this starter.
Champagne for the main plate?
We don’t imagine that a Champagne can attend an entire meal. It can even be better with simple dishes.
Champagne and poultry: an ideal match?
One of the best partners with a Champagne Brut as main plate is inevitably poultry. Chicken, turkey, guinea fowl, a Brut made of Pinot Noir will always find its heart’s desire. Stuffed or not, the softness of the meat will perfectly match the delicacy of the bubbles of the wine, and the flavours of the dish will not get the upper hand on the Champagne.
Champagne and white wine: an easy match?
Such as poultry, white meats are undoubtedly welcomed here. Blanquette, cream escalope, veal, rabbit, fillet mignon… So many partners compatible with our wine. Tender and juicy meats will let themselves be seduced by a Blanc de Noir. Indeed, champagne made from pinot noir or rosé champagne, vintage or not, will know how to bring a vinosity and a nice structure to match with these meats.
Champagne and red meats: a risky match?
Well, not necessarily. Red meats can also be combined with sparkling wines. It is true that our first reflex is to marry red wine with red meat.However, the Blanc de Blancs Gentilhomme, milésimé 2009, AR Lenoble Champagne ’softness brings red meats such as beef and duck to light. But with beef, it is preferable to cook it the rarest possible, to make the Champagne be in harmony with the juice of the meat.
Champagne for dessert?
Champagne and cheese: a daring match?
As it is said, choose your Champagne according to your taste. Depending your preferences, you will choose a Champagne more or less sweet. Brut or sweet, everything is possible, you just have to try. For instance, the vintage 2013 Champagne AR Lenoble reveals a subtle and original aromatic range to be enjoyed as an aperitif or with aged gruyère or comté.
Champagne and desserts: a wrong match?
Absolutely not, you just have to choose correctly your champagne again. In order to avoid every heaviness for this end of meal, choose a semi-dry champagne. Sweeter, these Champagnes match wonderfully cream and fresh desserts such as fruity mousse or a panna cotta with a coulis of your choice. A rosé Champagne can also be an ideal for desserts with red berries, such as strawberry pie, crème brûlée with a coulis of raspberry or a red berry crumble.
However, chocolate-flavours desserts or iced cream are note an ideal with sparkling wines.
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