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Champagne Uncorked: Simple Pairing Suggestions by Chef Christina Martin

A timely article written by guest contributor; Chef Christina Martin who following her stints at Blackfish, Village Belle and Vedge, Christina is excited to launch her new endeavor, Marché as owner and executive chef.

It has been said, “In victory one deserves Champagne and in defeat one really needs Champagne, supposedly attributable to Napoleon who knew both sides of that coin quite well.

Many folks ask me what pairs with Champagne? But honestly what doesn't pair with champagne is the question. So many things goes or pairs so well with it, that it was hard for me to decide. But here is what I like. I have recently discovered in learning about French culture and French cuisine that not only is their food amazing but their wines are fantastic and some of my favorites. When it come to simple solutions to pairing; Champagne is at the top of the list. I also learned that while much French cusine can be found in the rich and creamy category, it is also light, in a strange and wholly anticipated kind of way.

You don’t have to eat large portions like many Americans do to feel satisfied. A warm baguette, a piece of brie and flute filled with your favorite Champagne makes the ultimate perfect snack. It doesn’t get much better unless you’re at a cafe in France. [Lol]

I find many seafood entrées pairs oh-so nicely with Champagne, take scallop’s for example, sautéed in olive oil and butter and then you can place the scallops on top of some orzo with a Beurre Blanc sauce. Looking for the right wine to go with the sometimes difficult pairing of roasted asparagus, Champagne pairs ever so nicely and as a bonus it’s super easy to prepare, just olive oil, salt and pepper then roast in oven for 10-15 minutes or on the barbeque, done.

How about roasted artichokes - same with olive oil, salt and pepper, bada-bing bada-boom, just like that you’re ready to rock with appetizers, which pair really well with Champagne. Fresh Fruit is another option that goes nicely with champagne and would add a nice bit of contrast to the roasted veggies. Or for a twist on simplicity you can pair with raw items such as; Radishes - with just a tiny bit of unsalted butter, a pinch of salt and you're off to the races.

And if brunch is your thing; it's my latest craze to pair Chapagne with eggs Benedict or even Eggs Florentine, a marvelous mouth watering Sunday afternoon kind of thing, a pairing reminding me of a song Etta James sings so beautifully, I want a “Sunday kind of love”.

French cooking might seem complicated but it really is not. They use local, fresh, seasonal ingredients in the simplest form to create some amazing dishes. And when you pair with an excellent vintage or even non-vintage Champagne you have created a meal which can be elegant as any four-star restaurant experience. “There is no love more sincere than the love of food” -George Bernard Shaw

Cheers and Bon Appetit!


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