published Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Braly: Pairing champagne with food

It’s a given that certain wines go with certain foods, but what about champagne? We most often buy a bottle for celebratory occasions, but more and more, I’m seeing people enjoy it in for an afternoon cocktail as well as with dinner instead of a glass of wine.

There’s something about it that turns any gathering into a special event, whether it be a twosome for dinner or a party.

You do know the difference, right? Champagne can only be called so if it’s from the Champagne region of France. Otherwise, it’s sparkling wine.

I recently sampled two champagnes, both from the House of Pommery in Reims, France. I’ve never been to Reims, but have been to the Epernay champagne houses a couple hours outside Paris. What an educational treat that was. It was there that I learned so much about the champagne process, and now that I’ve tasted Pommery’s, I’m thinking I’ll head back to Paris one of these days and tour the Reims region.

The Springtime Brut Rose is for those of you who like a sweet edge to your bubbly. It’s quite good, with hints of fruit. A great pairing to any brunch dishes you might be serving this spring.

The Brut Apanage is a bolder bubbly that tingles the palate as it goes down. I really liked the subtle undertones of flavors this champagne carries. It’s not meant to be mixed. I wouldn’t waste it on that. The taste stands alone as a sipping champagne or a nice complement to grilled meats. I enjoyed it with my first grilled steak — topped with homemade Bernaise sauce — of the spring season.

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