Champagne, a famous and prized wine of French origin, is extremely versatile, so much so that it is perfect for both a wedding and an evening with friends. After all, its sparkling and brilliant taste has made every event and occasion special since the 18th century, when it conquered - one after the other - the most important European courts.

Champagne has maintained its appeal over the years and today, especially in summer, there is no shortage of occasions to uncork a bottle. That's why a wise idea is to always keep a bottle ready in the fridge... and as it can be paired with any meal, opening it doesn't have to be relegated to a celebration. So with what food can you enhance this precious wine? Here are a few suggestions, simple or gourmet, to enhance this precious nectar from beyond the Alps.

Champagne and food: 4 summer-saving ideas

Champagne: shall we start with an aperitif?

The aperitif is one of the drinking occasions that has become more popular in recent years. The Champagne bubbles  are the ideal option for creating a combination that is as elegant and refined as ever, with the advantage that it can be combined with different types of ingredients and preparations.

For this occasion you may prefer a cpoorly dosed hampagne, very fresh and with the slightly oxidised aroma characteristic of pinot meunier. It goes well with goat cheese and grana cheese, but also to non-bagged cold cuts such as prosciutto crudo and snacks made from crustaceans. I advise you to avoid spicy and/or very spicy foods as they will 'tar' your palate and prevent you from fully appreciating the organoleptic sensations of the wine.

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Champagne, Japanese cuisine and...

Champagne bubbles are ideal if you want to bring an oriental-style dinner to the table as they go well with preparations such as the sushithe sashimi and all the tartare of fish. In particular, however, they are perfect for degreasing tempura, prawn tempura being ideal. That's why they are an excellent idea to balance all fried foods, such as the Piedmontese fritto misto made with meat, offal and sweet semolina.

For this type of dish, where it is the quality of the raw material that makes the difference and where the freshness of the fish and vegetables are in the foreground, a sparkling wine such as the French one is an unmissable choice.

Champagne and oysters: a study to 'end' the debate

A great culinary classic, when thinking about the gastronomic pairing of champagne, is the one that sees it together with oysters. Even one study conducted by the University of Copenhagen. Actually, they taught us that - from a strictly didactic point of view - this is not an ideal pairing as the bubbles and acidity of the wine tend to reinforce the metallic notes of the prized shellfish. Yet researchers have called the 'umami synergy' that is unleashed between oysters and champagne, which is really 'a lot of stuff'. Umami is the fifth taste that we are able to perceive, a taste that can also be defined as 'savoury'... but not to be confused with salty.

Champagne and main courses

If you wish to enjoy Champagne together with a main course, you can pair it with either the tender chicken meat, either a fatty duck or goose foie gras. If you prefer fish, choose fatty fish such as salmon or eel, either fresh or smoked. The ideal side dish? Since fatty foods have a pronounced sweet tendency, you can agree on steamed carrots topped with a knob of butter, light and rich in beta-carotene which, among its many benefits, stimulates tanning.

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Champagne: a perfect conclusion

The role of champagne has always been to celebrate an important moment... or rather to conclude it! I myself have uncorked an excellent champagne along with the wedding cake, despite the fact that for the purposes of pairing it is about as wrong as it gets.

Unless you choose a champagne with a certain residual sugar, which is very difficult because, although it was born sweet with a serving glass attached (the glass is only used for very aromatic sweet sparkling wines... remember?) it is now mostly produced dry, desserts should be avoided. The only exception is cheesecake: a non-sweet dessert which - being cheese-based - is perfect for this wine even with brut dosage. The ideal is to make salted butter biscuits with parmesan cheese: a real treat! On the other hand, chocolate and all desserts containing it should be avoided as they totally cover the taste of champagne.

I wish you many special champagne occasions!

Cheers 🍷

Chiara

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