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Champagne with steaks for NYE?

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My boyfriend has announced that he is bringing a couple bottles of French champagne over for NYE. I am going to cook him a fancy pants dinner. For apps I will go with either salmon mousse or shrimp cocktail. But for the entree I was thinking of maybe grilling some nice steaks and making a bearnaise sauce or maybe doing a rack of lamb or even grilling a duck. Since it is just the 2 of us I don't want to have champagne open and then open a bottle of red wine for dinner also (plus I don't want to rain on his contribution). Will the champagne be just awful with any of those dishes? I don't know how to get around this without changing my menu. Somehow chicken doesn't seem very elegant and festive.

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  1. even if it's not a natural pairing, i don't think the champagne would be awful at all. just get a nice little buzz, enjoy the time with your boyfriend, and everything will be delicious!

    that being said, lamb might be a nice alternative since it's typically smaller and a little less heavy, but that all depends on how you would cook it.

    1. Since it is just the two of you, I would look to get half bottle of decent red for the meat. French bubbles may be too stark for fatty meat. Save one bottle of bubbly for late breakfast on NY Day, if that doesn't presume too much.

      1 Reply
      1. re: budnball

        LOL. that is a reasonable presumption. Maybe a little breakfast in bed for him with champagne to start the year off right.

      2. Champagne is maybe the planet's most versatile wine, when it comes to food pairing, and a full-bodied rosé will stand up nicely to your meal. Its crispness will cut the fat of the meat (and the creamy Bernaise, if you do steaks) really well.

        Alternatively, you could also think about getting a split (half bottle) of a lighter Champagne to have as an aperitif and with your seafood course, and then a half-bottle of red to go with the entree.

        1. If one of the champagnes is an older vintage- 98 etc, it'll be just fine. The yeastier/creamier/heavier will go best, than a spritzy, austere one

          1 Reply
          1. re: plaidbowtie

            +1 on older vintage. I prefer my bubbly with decades on it :) I typically drink it with apps but I also tend to make "heavier" apps in general and I use a bit *bolder flavors* for special occasions when I pull out the older vintages. Works out very well.

          2. No need to change your menu. Agree with originalfig - champagne really does pair with anything. Sounds like your boyfriend already knows what he is bringing but, if not a rose, then a robust champagne like a NV Bollinger might be nice.

            Also, I find the "rule" that champagnes and sparklers need to be consumed in one evening a load of bunk. I often put a smaller cork in (but not a vacuum) and leave it in the refrigerator enjoying it one, two, and even three days later.

            1. Thanks for all your replies. It turns out that we drank one bottle of bubbly with apps (another friend joined us) and opened the 2nd bottle but didn't have much. Then I made grilled rack of lamb for dinner & opened a bottle of Pinot Noir that we drank half of. Then we each had another glass of champagne with dessert. So we had bubbly and red left over & were sufficiently toasted to call it a successful NYE. And we ate so much food that somehow we didn't have hangovers. :-)