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Champagne: The Ultimate Wine for Dessert

Champagne The Wine DessertThrough centuries, champagne has inspired praises from connoisseurs, and to this day, it is a special treat when a meal is crowned with this clear, effervescent creation. There is a reason why champagne is considered the ideal wine for dessert. Epicurious, a website devoted to food and wine, gives the perfect reason for this. Chris Hallowell in this post “Champagnes and Sparkling Wines Perfect for any Celebration” shares this:

“…Consider these factors: Most bottles are blended from different vintage wines, resulting in a cuvée that’s greater than the sum of its parts; they tend to showcase minerality, a characteristic that adds depth to fruity, savory, meaty, and gamy flavors; and these wines possess an unparalleled acidity that cuts through rich, fatty dishes and surmounts even high-acid ingredients such as tomatoes or vinegars.”

Dessert and Wine Pairings

Epicurious gives examples of dessert and champagne pairings that would satisfy the most discriminating palate. Here are three of those pairings.

  • Jacques Lassaigne Les Vignes de Montgueux Brut Blanc de Blancs is a creamy champagne created purely of Chardonnay grapes, and carries with it bright mineral flavors. It will go very well with lemon shortcakes made with Meyer curd and mixed fruits.
  • Krug Grande Cuvée is an extraordinary vintage champagne blended 120 different wines from different vintages and aged for an additional six years. In all, it would take 21 years to make a bottle of this sweetly spiced, nutty, and delightfully perfumed delight. This is the ideal match for pear crisp with candied ginger.
  • Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1996  is often referred to as the pinnacle of Champagne. Epicurious describes this champagne as follows: “The grapes were harvested in one of the best years of the past few decades, and then aged for 15 years, giving it unparalleled richness and complexity…” For this special champagne, a good counterpart would be pine nut tart with an equally rich rosemary cream.

When Champagne Transforms Fruit

Come dessert time, you will find that there is more to champagne than being the bubbly wine to accompany a sweet offering. In many cases, champagne can transform plain fruit into an incomparable dessert.

A classic fruit dessert is fresh strawberries that have been given an amazing lift by a flute of champagne. However, other fruits also become totally rejuvenated when served with a glass of bubbly. Champagne can also work its magic with melons, apricots, blueberries, and fruits that are not overly sweet.

For example, Champagne Oranges is an easy and utterly delicious recipe shared by Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman. She recommends peeling eight large navel oranges and slicing them into quarters. She stirs half a cup of sugar and half a cup of marmalade cooked over low heat then pours this over the oranges along with 1 ½ cups of champagne. Chilled for eight hours, this dessert is a sure winner.

Possibly the most amazing fruit and champagne dessert is that uses peaches. The blog Spice of Wine describes, Stachelschwein, “the porcupine, a summer drink-cum-dessert that is popular in Germany. It is made by peeling a ripe peach and pricking it all over 99 times. Placed into a cold and glass of cold champagne, this peach will slowly revolve as the bubbles hit it.

People commonly bring out the champagne for happy occasions, because by its very essence, this bubbly wine is a celebratory drink.  When it comes to dessert, however, champagne is all that and more; when it brings a meal to its sweet end, champagne is truly magical.

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