This Holiday season Celebrate with Champagne!

When you think of something festive or worth celebrating most of the time you think… Champagne! 

This sparkling white (and sometimes Rosé) wine is part of the table of a unique celebration. 

Champagne Rosé

Quote: 

“Always keep a bottle of Champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes, the special occasion is that you’ve got a bottle of Champagne in the fridge.”

Hester Browne

I was invited to discover more deeply these prestigious domain… Champagne. Yes! Champagne ONLY comes from the region of Champagne (about one hour from Paris) and that is it! Any other sparkling wine that is not produced there is not champagne (period). 

More info about Champagne…. 

Champagne is a region in France called Champagne-Ardenne that has Appellation d’origine contrôlée (meaning that the name of the product is linked to the geography, you cannot produce Champagne as such in another geographic region). The cities are Epernay & Reims, and the wine production is all around the region.

More about my lunch experience & champagne tasting …

The lunch was hosted in the prestigious Ecole Hôtelière de Genève – EHG I have to admit I felt a little nostalgic to come back to a hotel school because …. you already know I did hotel school. 

The food was sumptuous and it married perfectly  with the champagnes the organizers chose to  make us try. 

Table at Vieux Bois

This was the menu: 

Starter – Salmon

Main Course – Chicken

Cheese plate

Dessert

Champagne pairings: 

Dom Ruinart 2004

Notes: 

  • Excellent ! Never tried something like this before.
  • 100% Chardonnay
  • 10 years of ageing
  • Very prestigious cuvée
  • Vinification on inox containers
  • 4x the price of an average bottle

Laurent-Perrier
Milésime 2004

Notes: 

  • 50% Pinot Noir / 50% Chardonnay
  • Exclusive cuvée 
  • 8 years of ageing

Eric Rodez
Blanc de Noir Grand Cru (BIO)

Notes: 

  • The only organic wine in the list, hence more dynamic in taste
  • 100% Pinot Noir
  • Certification of HVE (haute valeur environmental)

Jacquart – Rosé Mosaïque

Notes: 

  • The only rosée champagne from the tasting (personally I prefer white champagne)
  • Goes perfectly with desserts and berries
  • 30-35% Pinot Noir
  • 35-40% Chardonnay
  • 25-30% Meunier
  • Assemblage – 15 -18% of red wine from Pinot Noir

How to choose and savour a champagne? 

If you are like me (super new in this whole wine tasting world) some tips on how to savour and enjoy champagne could be super useful! Below you will find some guidance to reveal some characteristics and most important what this particular champagne reveals to you.

Before starting a tasting take this into consideration: 

  • Serve the glass 2/3 to give room to the champagne to open
  • Serve at perfect temperature: 8 – 10°
  • Avoid any perfume exterior and personal
  • Use a proper glass, with higher volume so the bubbles can come to the surface together with the aromas. Make sure the glass does not have any detergent particles

What do you see? 

  • The color: Pale gold, greenish, grey, pale yellow, golden yellow, old gold.
  • Aspect: Luminous, satin, sparkling
  • Bubbles: Lightweight, fines, energetic, generous, slow
  • Cord: Do they (the bubbles) create a cord? discreet or intense?

What do you smell?

  • Flowers: violette, jasmin…
  • Fruits: citrus, exotique, berries…
  • Vegetal: almonds, herbs, wood, truffle…
  • Tasty: butter, toast, miel, vanilla….
  • Dry fruits: nuts, raisins, figs

What do you taste?

  • Once it is in your mouth: Powerful, robust, warm, melting, energetic, light, mature, rich
  • After taste: plump, creamy, delicate, complete.

What is the occasion for the champagne? Important to define while tasting, since the occasion will define the champagne you choose and not the opposite. 

  • Where: Countryside lunch, business lunch, date, cocktail, family party, celebration, exceptional dinner

Which will be the food pairings of the champagne? The champagne you are tasting, with which food your you pair it with?

  • Aperitif: finger food, salty, salmon treats, cold cuts
  • Main Course: meat, veal, beef, vegetables, truffle, mushrooms… endless options
  • Dessert: pastries, chocolate, fruits…

There is not right or wrong answers during a tasting, the wine you choose and prefer is 100% up to you! Therefore, no pressure and no judging, it is all about what you like as taste, texture and composition. Have fun doing it! Why not buy some different bottle and make a stating between friends at home? Excellent “game” for a New Year’s party if you ask me ;). 

For this Christmas and New Year’s Eve and any future special occasion say it with Champagne!! 

Useful Information: 

Important: Champagne ONLY comes from the Champagne region, however other countries still call champagne sparkling wine. This can cause misconception and misleading (read labels)

Official Website: Champagne.com  You will find everything you need to know from the region there!

I hope you like it!!

Happy Holidays!

Diana

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