From my friends at Perrier-Jouet, here are some helpful hints for serving champagne and sparkling wine:
Each sip of sparkling champagne is a moment to be savored. Coming together with friends and loved ones over a glass of glimmering bubbles is a joyful celebration, and with a few expert tips you can explore the art of hosting to make your next gathering one to remember. What should you keep in mind?
How to serve champagne
- The perfect temperature: a non-vintage Perrier-Jouët champagne is ideally served at 8º C, while a vintage cuvée is best served at 10º C to reveal its full complexity.
- Never freeze your bottle to refresh it. This can be dangerous and may unbalance the aromas.
- When opening your bottle, the goal is not to surprise, but to delight guests with a light sound, almost a sigh as the bottle is opened. This is achieved by gently turning the bottle, while firmly holding the cork.
- The bottom of the bottle should be held when pouring, ensuring the label is always facing your guests.
Personally, I like mine on the chillier side. But opening the bottle by turning the bottle rather than the cork is very helpful. The label facing the guests is a bit pretentious in my humble opinion.
Here are their suggested pairings, of which I am at a total loss.
Brut with chicken breast, grapefruit, sole, white peach, turnips, and young leeks
Brut rose’ with bluefin tuna, lychee, lobster, fig, lentils and red tomatoes
Blanc de blanc with striped bass, white plum, crab, passion fruit, mushrooms and peas
Here are my pairings:
Anything bubbly goes with almost anything that I like to eat!!
Champagne pairing tend to focus on salty foods, like caviar. Since I am not a big fan of caviar, what are some alternatives. Some real gourmets suggest, of all things, potato chips!! Other closely related items would be smoked salmon and potato pancakes. I guess that is why I like cheese so much with my sparklings as well as reds and whites. Champagne works well with steak because of the acid. Champagne is richer and nuttier than red wine, and is able to cut through the fat. In fact, steak tartare is said to pair perfectly with rose’ champagne. Ceviche is another interesting pairing with champagne, but not really spicy shrimp.
For dessert, the wine, whether sparkling or still, needs to be sweeter than the dessert. This is perfect for a demi-sec with panna cotta or fresh berries. Think about Wimbledon, strawberries and cream, with a glass of champagne!