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champagne and food

Upgrade your home cellar, and elevate your home dining experience with tips from a top sommelier

By LLM Reporters on 19th March 2021

While normality is temporarily paused and we await the opportunity to drink fine wines and Champagnes in restaurants and bars again, Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa’s expert Sommelier Daniel Pires is on hand to share his specialist knowledge with those at home. Having worked at renowned houses such as the Tour d’Argent, Le Laurent and la scène Thélème, Daniel is a passionate and innovative wine expert.

Daniel has crafted suggestions for the Champagnes that everyone should stock up on to suit every occasion, and he is also sharing his recommendations for which bubbles to pair with your favourite takeaway, to elevate the ‘dining in’ experience while dining out is still limited.

Daniel Pires
Daniel is an expert sommelier and is passionate and innovate about his wines

Daniel’s recommendations for your cellar 

For when you want to splurge

“If you want to splash out on a prestigious cuvée from a beautiful Champagne house that few people know about, then I’d recommend the fine and elegant ‘Winston Churchill’ from Pol Roger. Alternatively, you could go for a biodynamic Champagne such as the pure and vibrant ‘Sapience’ by Benoit Marguet.” 

For when you want to save

“If you’re looking for a Champagne that is good value for money, I’d suggest looking into the younger generation of producers such as Jean-Marc Sélèque in Pierry and its ‘Solessence’ blend, or Etienne Calsac in Avize and its ‘L’echappée Bell’. You won’t be disappointed.”

For savouring later on

“Definitely a vintage from 2008 or 2012 which can either be enjoyed now or kept in the wine cellar to savour later. I have bottles such as the AR Lenoble 2008 Grand Cru Chouilly Brut Chardonnay and the Bollinger La Grande Annee 2012 in my personal cellar, waiting to be tasted soon.”

Champagne credit
Whether it’s for a special occasion or for splurging or saving, there are an array of options. Image credit: Joann Pai

For that special occasion 

“For a wedding anniversary, the celebration of love, I would recommend an Amour de Deutz in white or in rosé – it would be perfect. However, for a birthday, I would always choose the Champagne according to the tastes of the person you are celebrating. For my birthday, I’m looking forward to opening a magnum – always a magnum, of course – of the 2012 Bérêche et Fils Le Cran Premier Cru Brut.”

Elevate your takeaway and make dining in luxurious, by pairing the best Champagnes with:

Sushi

“The pairing depends on the type of sushi you are having. The bubbly side of Champagne cuts through the fattiness we find in tuna and salmon. I’d pair tuna with a rosé such as Brut Rosé De Sousa, but for prawn sushi, I’d open a Chardonnay Champagne from Delamotte.” 

Pizza

“There’s something for every type of pizza! For a four-cheese pizza, I’d opt for a dry Champagne such as a Laurent Perrier La Cuvée, whereas a lighter blend, such as Leclerc Briant rosé, would be better for a classic Margherita pizza as the bubbles will highlight the delicate taste of the tomato sauce. For a truffle pizza, I would recommend an aged and full-bodied Champagne such as a Moët & Chandon 2012 Grand Vintage.” 

Champagne credit
Even the simplest of foods can be paired with the finest of Champagnes. Image credit: Joann Pai

French

“For me, cheese is always an important part of any meal. If you are wanting to try a cheese from the Champagne region, I would suggest pairing a beautiful Chaource with a Champagne made from white grapes such as RL Legras Brut Champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru. For a mature Comté cheese, I’d go for a balanced Champagne such as Dom Ruinart 2007 for example. I also have to admit to having a weakness for Bellota Iberian ham accompanied with a refined rosé Champagne.”

Chinese

“For Peking duck, I would suggest a rosé Champagne with a good structure – a Charles Heidsieck rosé from 2005 would be superb. Caramel pork is often paired with mellow wine, which is why a medium-dry Champagne would be a good match, such as the excellent Georges Laval Garennes Extra Brut Champagne.”