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Champagne tasting approaching what do the winos have to say about pairings...?

kaholo1 Nov 30, 2006 06:15 PM

Hey guys and gals just looking for a few ideas for things to make/serve to a group of 8 ppl. with a range of sparklings...any help will is appreciated, the recipes themselves aren't so important. Cheers, dave.

  1. v
    vinosnob Mar 19, 2007 07:56 PM

    Champagne goes with just about anything, you can't go wrong...

    1. Megiac Mar 19, 2007 02:47 PM

      I like champagne with all sorts of shellfish. We steamed mussels last night and found ourselves without a white wine to drink with it (stupid blue laws). We had been given a bottle of Veuve Clicquot as a thank you recently, so opened it up and drank that instead. Delish.

      1. h
        happyrobot Dec 6, 2006 02:01 AM

        i'll also put a vote in for popcorn - although I tend to like mine dry and dull (but sea salt, truffle oil, and cheese sound awesome).

        1. w
          WineWidow Dec 5, 2006 09:19 PM

          I agree with everything already suggested and ask that foie gras be added to the list. I love love love the combination of silky, delicately flavoured oh-so-rich foie gras with golden biscuity champagne. Yum.

          1 Reply
          1. re: WineWidow
            kaholo1 Dec 6, 2006 12:36 AM

            I love fois too but if i do use it...its going to be when we get to dessert wines...darn now u got me thinkin about it...

          2. hotoynoodle Dec 2, 2006 06:08 PM

            blinis with a little creme fraiche and caviar.

            1. sgwood415 Dec 1, 2006 08:40 PM


              Article in SF Chronicle today about this very thing.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sgwood415
                kaholo1 Dec 4, 2006 11:15 PM

                thank you for the link, this is going to be a nice aid for next mondays tastings.

              2. b
                bethd127 Dec 1, 2006 07:59 PM

                At a recent trip to a new local wine bar they served potato chips with sparkling wine. Very simple, but ohh soo good. Yes salt and grease go very well with bubbles!

                1. SanseiDesigns Dec 1, 2006 07:42 AM

                  Ditto on the gougeres. Now that crab season is finally here, serve by itself or stuff in the gougeres. For east coasters - lobster. White truffle oil pommes frites are a favourite of mine with a nice brut. Cold or hot smoked salmon with a rose. Simple is best. And don't forget the caviar - don't go for volume, get the best you can afford (oestra is good), and provide little tastes. I've created tasting palettes (like a painters) for each guest. With expensive ingredients you can manage the portions and everyone gets to enjoy all the components.

                  1. carswell Dec 1, 2006 01:45 AM

                    Top-quality popcorn sprinkled with sea salt, dusted with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and drizzled with white truffle oil (go light on the oil -- it's powerful stuff).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: carswell
                      RicRios Dec 1, 2006 01:52 AM

                      Wow! The fanciest of the schmanziest...

                    2. m
                      MakingSense Nov 30, 2006 09:11 PM

                      Potted shrimp with melba toasts.
                      Gravlax on buttered dark bread.
                      Chilled raw oysters with a mignonette sauce.
                      Parmesan crisps.
                      Black pepper shortbreads.

                      1. Robert Lauriston Nov 30, 2006 07:32 PM


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          MMRuth Nov 30, 2006 07:35 PM

                          Great suggestion - a favorite - easy to make ahead, as well.

                        2. Chinon00 Nov 30, 2006 06:36 PM

                          Things lightly fried like tempura. I've even heard french fries suggested. Bubbles and grease can make a swell combination.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Chinon00
                            kenito799 Dec 7, 2006 02:49 PM

                            YES, David Rosengarten taught me the bubble-grease harmony/counterpoint in his book and TV show Taste, in which there is a recipe for deep-fried shrimp toast to serve with champagne. It has been a New Year's Eve tradition for us for years, fun to make.

                            1. re: kenito799
                              gridder Mar 19, 2007 01:26 PM

                              In the same vein, I heard potato chips; haven't tried it yet.

                              1. re: gridder
                                wally Mar 19, 2007 04:32 PM

                                Potato chips and champagne are great together. So are strips of puff pastry with chili and salt.

                                1. re: wally
                                  maria lorraine Mar 19, 2007 07:14 PM

                                  I get the ruffled Lays potato chips, and then some organic sour cream and put that in a bowl. In the very center of the white sour cream, I invert a small jar of caviar, so that it's a black circle inside a larger white circle. Take a potato chip, stripe it through
                                  the sour cream and caviar, and Voila!! We do this every year for New Year's and for the Academy Awards.

                          2. sgwood415 Nov 30, 2006 06:26 PM

                            Fresh fruits always pair nicely with champagnes. Strawberries are classic. The acid in the wine really does wonders with the sweetness of the berries. Some more mild cheeses are great too like younger goat or sheepsmilk cheeses.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: sgwood415
                              Robert Lauriston Nov 30, 2006 08:30 PM

                              I'll happily drink Champagne with fruit or almost anything else.

                              However, when tasting wine, I eat fruit only to clear my palate, and rinse with water afterwards to clear the acid from my mouth.

                              As the old wine-trade saying goes, "buy on an apple and sell on cheese."

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                sgwood415 Nov 30, 2006 08:57 PM

                                Do you know of any good champagne flights in the bay area?

                                1. re: sgwood415
                                  Robert Lauriston Nov 30, 2006 09:17 PM

                                  Bacar always has one.

                                  WINE at Embarcadero Center always has 3-5 sparkling wines available by the taste, but usually only one or two are Champagne. Cav usually has a couple.


                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    sgwood415 Nov 30, 2006 09:59 PM

                                    Thanks. WINE is just a few blocks from my office. I'll have to check that out and post a note about it.

                                    1. re: sgwood415
                                      Robert Lauriston Nov 30, 2006 10:36 PM

                                      There's also Bubble Lounge, but, uh ...


                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                        sgwood415 Nov 30, 2006 10:50 PM

                                        Yeah, I know.

                                  2. re: sgwood415
                                    oaklandfoodie Dec 4, 2006 07:13 PM

                                    Not a champagne flight, but a tasting event I came across in Rockridge:

                                    Coming on Sunday 10-Dec-2006, 2:00-4:30 PM: Grower Champagnes and local oysters! Paul Marcus Wines teams up with our friends across the street at Pearl Oyster Bar and Restaurant for an afternoon celebration of artisanal, estate-bottled Champagnes (a.k.a. Farmer Fizz!) and local oysters. We'll pour 10 different wines from five grower-producers in several of Champagne's Grand Cru and Premier Cru villages. Pearl will shuck oysters and serve Champagne-friendly cheeses. Tickets cost $40 and are available now at Paul Marcus Wines or on the markethallfoods.com Web site. (For more about Champagne in general and grower Champagnes in particular, read our December 2002 and December 2003 newsletters.)

                                2. re: sgwood415
                                  maria lorraine Mar 19, 2007 08:37 PM

                                  Nah, I don't do fruit. I want to taste the fruit in the vine.

                                  Anything fried works: fried chicken, French fries (especially with a gourmet ketchup), tempura, etc.
                                  Most salty things work: smoked salmon, caviar, nuts, etc.
                                  Many things with fat work, like soft cheeses, salami, butter -- even cold cuts
                                  Mushrooms work well, like oyster and chanterelle mushrooms, but truffles work also.
                                  Sometimes toasty things, like toast points, toasted baguette slices, crackers, brioche, pair well with the toastiness in the champagne. Use these as a base for other flavors.
                                  Little touches of citrus work: lemon zest, orange peel.
                                  Delicate green things can add a note: cucumber, a touch of tarragon, celery
                                  A tiny touch of heat works: a tiny touch of wasabi, horseradish, powdered mustard, etc.; as in sushi, horseradish cream sauce, etc.
                                  An aged Champagne (about 15-20 years) can take on heftier items such as a veal roast, roast fowl, etc.
                                  Rose Champagne can take on slightly heartier fare than regular champagne. Two of my favorite rose pairings were rare roast beef with horseradish cream sauce, and chiles en nogades made with a walnut cream sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

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