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Unique Champagne Food Pairings

05wine3-1415038061459-jumboAs they say – sometimes you need to take chances…

 

Oysters & Champagne, Caviar & Champagne  are some of the classics but booooring since we are now drinking more Champagne and not always have access to Oysters or Caviar!

Classic Champagne food pairings are great for starters, but what happens after you’ve we finished the same old tired combinations? It’s time to get unique and try some Champagne food pairings that can be enjoyed even when you are not wearing a tuxedo. Besides Champagne, there are a lot of great sparkling wine pairings listed below such as Cava, Prosecco, Franciacorta and American bubbly.

Fried Mushrooms

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It’s a little known secret that fried food and Champagne are best friends. Go for a Blanc de Noirs (a white sparkling wine made with dark grapes like pinot noir) with fried mushrooms. The earthiness in the mushrooms is complimented by the more rich fruity/earthy notes that you’ll find common in a Blanc de Noir. An affordable American Blanc de Noirs such Gloria Ferrer

Mac & Cheese

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One of the greatest favorite Champagne pairing  is homemade macaroni and cheese. There are a few important ingredients here for the perfect pairing; the right cheese, the right Champagne, and the right toppings. Don’t get carried away with a sharp cheese. Consider a softer creamery cheese with flavor such as smoked gouda. The Champagne needs to be acidic enough to cut through the cheese without being so strong as to ‘turn’ the cheese. Toppings can be used to fine tune the dish, from pancetta, to truffles, to toasted breadcrumbs. For example, if you were using the smoked gouda, toasted breadcrumbs would be a nice topping to add some crunch and dilute the cheese. Also, when making your mac & cheese use butter, a little cream and american cheese as a base and the flavoring cheese in moderation.

Butternut Squash Ravioli w/Brown Butter Sageunknown

This is a rich but delicate dish…both sweet and earthy as a result of the use of sage and roasted butternut squash. Because it is a slightly sweet dish, it’s important to find a bubbly with inherent sweetness. This classic Italian ravioli dish does wonderfully with Italy’s premiere sparkling wine called Franciacorta. Franciacorta is from Lombardy and actually uses many of the same grape varieties as proper Champagne such as chardonnay, pinot nero (noir) and pinot bianco (blanc). When made with added pinot nero, Franciacorta takes on fruity strawberry notes and a richness of flavor. Franciacorta still hasn’t exploded in the marketplace as much as Champagne so you’re likely to find excellent value from this region. The flavors tend to have slightly less acidity and more fruitiness than most Champagnes and the same toasty-almond character occurs with aging.

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

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Mmmmm…BBQ and Cava. Use a smoky BBQ sauce and avoid having sauce with too much spice. Pick a sparkling wine that isn’t too subtle so that the BBQ doesn’t overwhelm the delicate flavors. Think of a slightly spicy, tangy, smoky sauce on your chicken (or tofu if you’re a vegetarian!). Consider adding caramelized onions and just a few gorgonzola crumbles. Pair this sandwich with a bottle of Cava or Prosecco. Although most value cavas don’t have the delicate complexity of a Champagne, they work perfectly to balance the intensity of something simple like BBQ. chicken over pork or beef as the flavor of chicken is lighter than pork and beef, lending it to a better pairing with bubbles.

Vegetarian Red Bean Chili

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This is one of the first non-traditional Champagne food pairings  but  experiment with based on a recommendation.  The champagne  made my cheapo chili taste like god food(what does that mean? I don’t know but it sounds right). It’s the moment where you have your cheddar-cheesy chili bite in your mouth and then you wash your mouth out with it. Cava and red bean chili is a thing. Tell your friends.

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Veuve Cliquot Rose Megaphone: A Party in One Gift

It’s not every day a champagne can elicit audible cries of “Wow!” without even being opened.  But this not every day.  Today, we have the Veuve Cliquot Rose Megafone.  Not only is it a truly memorable gift containing one of the best non-vintage champagnes available, it is also one of the most interesting pieces of engineering ever made related to a bottle.Veuve-Clicquot-Rose-Scream-Your-Love-2

On first glance, the gift case brings cheer-leading and old movies to mind: shaped like an old-fashioned megaphone, it is a striking image that conjures a sense of classic fun.  Unscrew the base, and the megaphone shell lifts up to reveal a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Rose Champagne.  A blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Veuve Cliquot’s own reserve wines make up a delicious rose champagne, with bright fruit notes front and center, but a carefully balanced acidity and lingering finish to keep you entertained glass after glass.

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But wait!  We’re not done yet.  We’ve only cracked the surface of the Megaphone.  Picking up the shell again, we can take off the cap at the top, and voila!  It is now a fully functional megaphone, perfect for when you want to play director at your next party.  And that’s still not all, because, when you’re finally ready to pop that champagne, simply screw the top end of the megaphone into the base, inverting it from its original orientation, and now, it’s an ice bucket.

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Three fantastic uses from just the case: an eye-catching gift, a party-starting megaphone, and a practical ice bucket, not to mention the champagne inside the whole thing.  A better gift, I couldn’t imagine.

HALLOWEEN DRINK IDEAS

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Throwing a Halloween party can be a lot of fun, and figuring out what to serve at your party can be a little intimidating.  A party would not be complete without mocktails so the non-alcoholic drinkers can have a fun, too!

To help you along the way, here are five Halloween non-alcoholic mocktail recipes to include in your party this year – ideal for adults and teens alike!

The simple, non-alcoholic fruit punch

For a fun twist on a classic fruit punch, mix half a gallon of sherbet ice cream and two litres of ginger ale.  This non-alcoholic fruit punch is a refreshing mocktail, full of bubbles and zest.

Pomegranate Bellini

Heat the pomegranate juice in a saucepan until hot, but not boiling.  Whisk in half-a-cup of blueberry jam until it is smooth and combined.  Strain the liquid through a pitcher.  Put the syrup into the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

To serve, pour two or three teaspoons of syrup into champagne flutes and fill with non-alcoholic champagne.  Float a few blueberries on top to garnish, and enjoy.

“Monstermash smoothie”

In a blender, combine fresh strawberries with a splash of orange juice, set aside.  Blend a handful of blackberries and blueberries until you get a puree consistency.

To serve, pour one layer of strawberries, followed by a layer of blueberry/blackberry mash.  Top with a blended orange juice and vanilla yogurt mix.  This drink is thick, creamy, and refreshing.  Serve with a spoon so your guests can mix the drink, giving it a layered and marbled look.

“Zombie eye punch”

Pull out the stems of 10 cups of cherries, and insert a chocolate chip in each cherry.  These will represent your zombie eyes.  Add all of the zombie eyes into the bottom of a punch bowl.  Combine three cups of ginger ale, 10 cups of cherry cola, five cups of red fruit juice concentrate, and three cups of pineapple juice.

Chill and serve.

“The Vampire Bite”

In a large pitcher, combine two cups of cranberry juice, half-a-cup of apple juice, and a quarter-cup of grenadine.  Top it off with two cups of seltzer water.

Squeeze one tube of red candy gel on a plate.  Rim the edges of four low-ball glasses and pour the prepared drink evenly into the glasses.  Garnish with gummy vampire teeth and serve immediately.