| Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 'Brut', 1990, France, Champagne, 750ml|
On the nose this wine is exceptionally elegant. Dominant floral notes (mint and white flowers) mingle with hints of fresh fruit (citrus fruits, fresh almonds). As it undergoes aeration, riper notes of vanilla and nougat come to the fore, giving a pleasant roundness to the wine. At this stage a typical Chardonnay characteristic, crisp elegance, clearly prevails over aromatic strength. In the mouth, the Pinot Noir reveals its true personality.Fruity notes (white peaches, grapefruit and bergamot) dominate an energetic attack on the palate, which is prolonged by the structure and roundedness of the wine. The balance, a combination of freshness and vigour, is ideal. With a finish that is extremely persistent and clean, mineral notes add force to this noble wine. Although La Grande Dame is still a long way from its peak, this wine constitutes an apTritif of exception. True connoisseurs will arm themselves with patience and take great pleasure in drinking this champagne in a few years' time, once it has come to full cellar maturity.
Recommended food pairings for specific champagnes: Although these are only guidelines as taste is a very personal thing.
Brut non vintage:
Scrambled eggs,Any mushroom dish Nuts, especially almonds Popcorn and potato crisps Cheese- especially hard cheeses such as parmesan, gouda or cheddar. Pasta or risotto-especially with cream or mushroom sauce.
Avoid heavy tomato-based sauces as the acidity clashes with the high acidity of the champagne.
Thin crust pizza, but not with heavy tomato-based topping.
Fish and seafood Poultry and game birds ie duck
Blanc de Blancs:
Sushi,Goats cheese. Poultry especially duck Pink-roasted lamb
Seafood and fish Vintages:
All fish and seafood dishes especially with rich, creamy sauces. Duck Caviar Desserts that are not too sweet may be accompanied by a demi-sec champagne.
Chocolate can be accompanied by an extra brut or demi-sec or a full flavoured dry rosT.
An intimate setting or wedding reception begs for one of these Champagne Cocktail recipes. But don't stop there! A champagne cocktail adds a special touch to any party suitable for champagne. Just use the party-size recipe version below and follow the make-ahead tips for easy party preparation.
Party-Size Champagne Cocktail Recipe
1/2 cup simple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons Angostura bitters
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup Cognac (or Brandy or Grand Marnier)
2 (750ml) bottles champagne
Orange twist halves and cocktail cherries for garnish
Simple Syrup: Dissolve 1 part sugar in 1 part boiling water. Cool.
Chill all ingredients before assembling. Combine simple syrup, bitters, lemon juice and Cognac and set aside. Refrigerate if making ahead. When you are ready to serve, thread the orange twists and cocktail cherries onto picks and insert in champagne flutes. Pour the simple syrup mixture into a pitcher. Gently stir in the champagne. Pour into flutes. 14-16 servings.
Tip:Make as much of the simple syrup mixture as you think you'll need ahead of time. Use a scant cup of the mixture per 2 bottles of champagne.