Champagne: you can eat food with it! [New Year's]

champagne riddler

Champagne, it’s not just for toasts, celebrations, boat launches, New Year’s Eve and locker rooms any more. (In fact, as our spy cam shows, it’s not even used in locker rooms these days.) Champagne elevates many foods; food, it turns out, also elevates many Champagnes. (I, for one, am very convinced of the food-friendliness of Champagne and found myself craving a glass of blanc de blancs the other day while lunching on some sushi.) But this is hardly breaking news for readers of this site–almost none of our “impossible” food-wine pairings without someone saying, “easy, Champagne!” If roasted chicken is the sort of food that a lot of wines would pair with, Champagne is the wine that a lot of foods pair with.

Nonetheless, it’s a good point to make and Mike Steinberger eloquently urges readers to cast off stereotypical assumptions while making some excellent Champagne selections.

Interestingly, in the piece, a sommelier makes the point that pairing red wine with a main course is going to be a hard tradition to break for many people. What do you think: If you were offered a Champagne or Your Favorite Red at the same price with a meal, would you categorically rule out the Champagne?

A final word: if you have kids, consider ringing in the new year tomorrow on an earlier time zone, such as Paris, as we do. Then you can enjoy the wine with food–while you’re still awake.

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10 Responses to “Champagne: you can eat food with it! [New Year's]”


  1. Challenge accepted! I am going to make a point of having Champagne as the main wine instead of my favorite red… Great idea.


  2. To answer your question about red or Champagne – I would gladly accept my favorite Champagne instead of my favorite red :) Challenge is – my favorite Champagne might not be readily available – I have much lesser number of “favorite Champagnes” than favorite reds :)


  3. Considering I’m drinking Champagne every day for a year & writing about it on my website, I’ve taken the opportunity to try pairing Champagne with a variety of foods. Though Champagne & sushi is still my favorite, Champagne & fresh, crispy fried chicken make a beautifully unexpected pair as well.

    Lately I’ve been melting truffle butter & pouring it over popcorn to pair with Champagne. Lovely. I’ve paired bolder rosé Champagnes like Ruinart with light lamb dishes & it’s been wonderful.

    I’ve found pairing Champagne with foods we typically associate with Fino Sherry often works great too. Think tortilla as well as salted cod!


  4. Try popcorn with champagne ;-)


  5. Champagne over the red anytime. Blanc de Blancs work well with a lot of dishes a red would not.


  6. Champagne is wonderful with almost everything [and one of the few wines that will go with almost anything]. It’s also the ultimate neophyte wine and Manhattan wine. The NV is consistent, so once you find a couple you like, you can buy without knowledge of vintages and it’s the only fine wine sold ready to drink so storage isn’t an issue. There’s a fantastic range of flavors and characteristics to champagne, especially once you start getting into the much overlooked and under appreciated roses. Also, while champagne only comes from Champagne [and is by far my favorite quaff], you can sometimes also get really high quality cava, the Spanish bubbly made via methode champanoise.


  7. We did exactly both of those! We dined with friends who have a 4y.o., had bubbly (Bollinger Special Cuvée NV and a Lorentz crémant), and celebrated New Year’s in Greenland and Labrador!

    Happy, bubbly 2011 to you.


  8. I can think of very few meals that wouldn’t benefit from a bottle of Bollinger.


  9. I agree with you Justin :)


  10. In the food-and-wine connoisseurship, it is very commong pairing a good Champagne to a recipe, a dish or maybe to a simple cold cut.
    Let me give you an example.

    CHAMPAGNE HENRIOT – MAISON FONDÉE EN 1808 A REIMS – FRANCE – SOUVERAIN BRUT – 12%

    VISUAL ANALYSIS: brilliant, golden yellow and as regards the effervescence the bubbles are fine, numerous and persistent

    OLFACTORY ANALYSIS: cream bun, curry, lemon, baker’s yeast and white flowers.

    GUSTATIVE ANALYSIS: it is like eating a ripe yellow apple; it gives you a spectacular softness and the final is lemon flavoured with a light bitterish tendency.

    WINE-FOOD COMBINATION: Patagonian ham (jamón patagónico de vacuno)

    * The salivation and the bubbles cut through the fatness of the cold cut
    * The sweet tendency of the ham is counterbalancing the final bitterish tendency of the wine

    MY PERSONAL OPINION: there are the whole ingredients, at the nose and at the mouth, to determine as a place of origin the Champagne zone.

    This sensation of smooth is probably functional to the target of preparing the taste buds to a mission of discovery the new emotions which consists in a soft statement of noble neutrality. The final objective of this sparkling wine is the equilibrium of the mouth sensations to define the Champagne as a wine for every occasion.


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