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After the Toast
Serving Champagne with a Meal
Many people think Champagne is reserved for toasting special occasions, or is meant to be enjoyed solely as an aperitif before the more serious wines are served. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Serving Champagne with a Meal A romantic outdoor meal: Champagne with linguini and grilled vegetables.
There are several different styles of Champagne, which ultimately lend themselves to quite a wide array of foods. While one may at first think of style variations in terms of sweetness levels, it’s actually all about the acids, yeasts and blends. The acidity provides backbone, liveliness and longevity, and the time spent aging the yeast affects the mouth feel and creates notes of toast or biscuits. Percentages of the three varietals employed determine the body and flavor nuances.

The more powerful, structured and intense Champagnes go well with foie gras, Parma ham, stews, ossobuco and poultry. The lighter and more delicate Champagnes are perfect with fish and shellfish.

Rosé Champagne is often the perfect accompaniment to a meal; its slightly tannic grip can handle more substantial dishes like lamb, sweet-and-sour entrees, gratins and red fruits.

Some classic Champagne pairings include: lobster in drawn butter, oysters on the half-shell, and seared scallops and caviar. Other traditional regional pairings include: crayfish in Champagne, trout with almonds, duck with cherries, blanquette de veau (veal in a white sauce) and pommes soufflées (a sophisticated version of french fries).

So the next time you are planning a dinner party and are debating which wine to serve, think Champagne!

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