Champagne is a libation that embodies luxury, aristocracy, and wealth. We’re accustomed to combining this drink with food of a similar status, such as caviar or fine French cuisine. However, it turns out that there are some less conventional dishes that elevate the taste of champagne.
In March, students from our schools participated in a Champagne competition organized by César Ritz Colleges Switzerland in partnership with Comité Champagne, and the finalists came up with some creative food and champagne pairings that we’re just bubbling to try.
Soups, particularly summer soups, usually have no wine accompaniment, but they pair surprisingly well with champagne. Chilled low-fat soups such as cucumber marry wonderfully with most champagnes, highlighting the different notes and bringing the taste to its fullest.
2. Salmon pie
Champagne can also be combined with hearty pastries such as salmon pie. Serving this dish alongside brut or extra-brut champagne such as Lanson black label Brut AOC or Champagne Veuve Clicquot Extra Brut Extra Old, you’ll create a classic pairing.
3. Sunny-side-up egg with aged Parmesan and white truffles
A crisp, well-balanced vintage Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs with a pure and mineral aromatic intensity combines beautifully with the delicate peppery flavor of white truffles. The powerful acidity and sparkling bubbles refresh the palate after each forkful of egg. Extra-strong, dry cheeses, like parmesan, are the perfect accompaniment to good, aged champagne, because they carry the same buttery and nutty nuances.
4. Golubtsy, served with sour cream
The depth of flavor and the brightness of taste characteristic of Rose champagne pairs perfectly with this Russian dish of cabbage rolls stuffed with reindeer and rice. While other variations of this dish would also match well the champagne, the herbal tones of reindeer meat combined with the bitterness of cabbage particularly make this champagne sing. The intermingling of sour-bitterness from the sour cream with the sour-sweet from the strawberry notes in Rose champagne adds a long-lasting, sparkling aftertaste, leaving a viscous sensation on the back of the tongue.
5. French cuisine
Whether it’s foie gras, patates dauphinoises, or cherry clafoutis, French cuisine is typically dominated by the intermingling of sweet and salty flavors. Because of this balance, French dishes go hand in hand with champagne. The acidity found in champagne slices through the richness and saltiness from fat and salinity, refreshing the degustation.
What could better accompany juicy and flavourful crayfish than a chilled glass of champagne? A dry Blanc de Blanc champagne perfectly complements the salty and faintly sweet taste of the crayfish, while the crisp citrus notes balance out the seafood dish as a whole, refreshing the palate.
7. Oysters and caviar
Sometimes, simple is best: fresh, raw, velvety oysters and Beluga Caviar from the Black Sea, topped with a dash of crème fraîche. A bottle of well-chilled light young and vintage Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne. The rich and creamy texture of this simple but elegant dish, blended with the bubbles, freshness, and acidity of the champagne, is nothing short of a celebration in the mouth.
8. White chocolate panna cotta with raspberry sorbet
Topped with caramelized white chocolate, a glass of Nicolas Feuillatte, Réserve Sélection, Demi-Sec, Champagne, Chouilly is all you need to bring this dessert to the next level. The Demi-Sec balances out the sweetness of the chocolate, while also emphasizing the freshness of the raspberry sorbet.
9. Assorted tempura
The thin, crispy texture of this dish pairs wonderfully with the freshness of Moët & Chandon Imperial, harmoniously blending notes of green apple and pear, nuances of white flowers, and aged aromas such as brioche and cereal.
10. Seasonal fruit platter
Dry champagne is rarely served alongside sweet dishes, the rule being that a dessert should not be sweeter than the champagne you serve it with. Taittinger Nocturne Sec Sleever N.V, however, is delicate and fresh, recalling ripe fruits and white flowers. Although dry, the faint sweetness and mousse-soft mouthpiece pair excellently with a platter of seasonal fruits.