Sir Winston Churchill once said “I could not live without Champagne. In victory I deserve it. In defeat I need it.”
To speak of Champagne is to speak of celebration, luxury and sophistication. To wine lovers, more than a special occasion, Champagne represents the opportunity to taste a unique product that fully embraces the terroir and tradition. To us, champagne is a fine wine that can be enjoyed on a daily basis, it is not to be relegated to so-called special occasions, but it makes the occasion special all by itself.
Made in the homonymous region (with the name itself being considered an Appellation of Origin, and as such, only sparkling wines that meet elaboration standards made in the region are considered Champagne), this special drink is rarely paired by beginners. However, for those on the know-how, Champagne pairs perfectly with creamy, fried and fresh ingredients such as seafood. This hidden versatility is one of the reasons authentic Champagne is a favourite among wine-lovers.
On this occasion, we bring you three Champagne options to be enjoyed as an appetizer or better yet, paired with your favourite French cuisine.
The first selection comes from a traditional producer in the region, that, faithful to the founder’s ideals, only crafts prestige cuvées of the highest quality. The Krug Cuvée Brut is an extraordinarily complex wine, creamy and timing with fascinating notes. A roasted gold colour accentuated with copper prevails in the cup, while honey, almonds, marsipan and brioche explode in the nose. Taste wise, it’s a medium wine, with balanced acidity and a combination of nuts and roasted notes. A very long end, the aroma and taste is what makes the Krug a unique wine.
The next suggestion is the Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé, which is not dated. One of our favourite Champagnes, this wine is made by the oldest family-owned house.
Pale salmon tones and small bubbles dot the liquid, while citrus, peach, green apple and red berries attack the nose. The taste is elegant, unctuous, full of life and texture, with strawberry, berries, peach and honey mixing on the palate. Kind to the tastebuds, the long ending of this sparkling wine is perfect to pair raw fish and tartares.
Lastly, the most special Champagne there is: produced by the Maison de Piper-Heidsieck, the Rare Champagne Brut 2006 is made from a combination of 8 different grand cru harvested in exceptional years. This is the Cuvée Prestige from Piper, and merely tasting it shows why it’s so special.
Presented in a beautiful bottle decorated in gold, the Champagne within is as elegant as the decanter. Light gold and copious, fine bubbles strike the eyes while grapefruit, honey and floral tones invade the nose in a coherent and structured scent. Taste-wise, the acidity and balance are perfect, keeping fresh in every drink. A medium wine of long ending, this Champagne is ideally enjoyed with charcuterie, aged cheese, rustic roasts and complex dishes.
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