Posted on February 25, 2019
After several hours of research, I finally made my selection of the 8 best champagnes among more than forty houses offering their products on the market. For my part, I would dream to get my hands on one of the bottles of Krug Grande Cuvée, but I'm afraid my budget will be a bit of a shame … I could opt, for a great occasion, for a Veuve Clicquot Vintage, very elegant in the mouth. You will also find at the end of this article a buying guide to help you choose the champagne that will delight the palate of your guests, whether as a side dish or for the pleasure of the fine bubble!
The best cheap champagnes
If the prices, unbeatable, private labels have enough to attract, we are rather often disappointed with the quality of the nectar that was thought to buy. So I counted on big names in champagne that offer bottles at a relatively affordable price, between 30 and 40 €.
Attention: to determine the best, it will be to choose according to your tastes in the matter!
Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut: the best cheap
Champagne with fruity and floral notes
To serve only with certain dishes
The house Perrier-Jouët, founded in 1811, has carved out a place of choice not only thanks to the quality of its champagnes, but also thanks to its famous Art Nouveau screenprint decorated with anemones white and pink enameled gold rimmed !
For the anecdote, know that the Grand Brut Perrier-Jouët was also served at the wedding of Prince Albert of Monaco with Charlene Wittstock in 2011 … and I understand why. Elegant to the end of the collar: I would offer it without blushing, especially during the holidays!
It is blended with the wines of the year as well as with reserve wines (up to 20%, depending on the year), for a blend of 3 grape varieties, 20% chardonnay, 40% pinot black and 40% pinot meunier, all for a balanced body. In terms of dosage, you should know that it can vary between 8 and 11 g per liter: it depends whether the harvest of the year was good or not!
The Grand Brut de Perrier-Jouët has a beautiful golden color and fruity and floral aromas, with a hint of vanilla. And the finesse of its bubbles enhances everything!
It will be destined, however, against all odds (I would have seen it as an aperitif) to accompany fish in carpaccio, white meats (such as veal, rabbit or poultry) and half-cooked vegetables.
To be able to enjoy it, at its fair value, I advise you to serve it at a temperature of 9 °, in order to fully enjoy the bubbles and its scents.
Piper-Heidsieck Essential Brut: the darling of Hollywood
Full-bodied champagne with white fruit aromas
To serve only with certain dishes
If you are not a passionate enthusiast (and defender) of champagne, you may not know this house … The Piper-Heidsieck house was founded in 1785 and has had some success since its inception, particularly in favor from his first ambassador … Marie-Antoinette!
More than 200 years later, the house was still raging, but this time among Hollywood celebrities, such as Ava Gardner, Humphrey Bogart, Fred Astaire or Marylin Monroe. In short, a house that has under the elbow!
In this case, I have selected the Brut Essential, a champagne ready to drink: it is not necessary to ripen in the cellar after purchase.
This is a raw extra produced on the basis of 3 grape varieties, namely Pinot Noir (50%), Chardonnay (20%) and Pinot Meunier (30%), counting of course a percentage of wines. of 11% (the rest being wines of the year), to which was added a dosage of only 7 g of sugar per liter. The reserve wines in question were matured for 4 years in the cellars of the Piper-Heidsieck house and give a real body to the champagne, as well as an incredible wealth of aromas.
We are therefore on a rather full-bodied (but balanced) champagne with a beautiful straw-yellow color and aromas of citrus, cut apples and almonds, which goes perfectly with everything that is crustacean ( langoustines for example), shells (the wedding with oysters is a real success), fish sauce and soft cheeses (like goat, an alliance that I would surely like a lot!).
To be able to enjoy it, at its fair value, I advise you to serve it at a temperature of 9 °, in order to fully enjoy the bubbles (which are quite noticeable on the palate, because more "fat"). For that, a little tour in the fridge before the arrival of the guests is enough, no need to put it in the freezer, thanks!
Pol Roger Reserve: the favorite of the court of England
Champagne with hints of fruit and honey
Fine and abundant bubbles
Can be served throughout the meal
Purely marketing label
The house Pol Roger is especially appreciated on the other side of the Channel (where it was the first bottle of champagne to be sold in 1877), including the late Winston Churchill and the Court of England.
The house is in this capacity holder of the "Royal Warrant" of his majesty Elizabeth II. And when we know that it is the champagne served at the weddings of his grandchildren, it gives a good idea of the quality of this champagne!
In addition to this aspect a little "marketing" (which is unfortunately found on the labels, with the "extra wine, which means absolutely nothing …), which bothers me, I think this champagne will please more than one.
So we start, too, on this raw champagne, not vintage and ready to drink, which was assembled from a mixture of 3 grape varieties (chardonnay, pinot meunier and pinot noir), at the rate of 33% each (among wines of the year and those of reserve, up to 25% for the latter). The champagne is then dosed (8 g per liter) and cellared for 4 years.
Pol Roger's brut reserve comes to us in a beautiful straw-yellow dress and in a flow of fine bubbles. Side aromas, it is clearly on a powerful champagne with fruity notes (candied orange and tangerine), spicy (cardamom, anise), raised with a hint of honey. I have a small preference for this type of perfume, but it's a matter of taste!
It is still quite fresh, which is more destined to be served as an aperitif, even if, in the event that you decide to make your meal entirely champagne, he is an adorable table companion. However, I invite you to pay attention to the flavors of your dishes, avoiding particular tastes more "aggressive": it would be a shame not to perceive the delicacy of the aromas of this champagne!
To be able to enjoy it, at its fair value, I advise you to serve it at a temperature of 8 °, in order to fully enjoy the bubbles.
The best mid-range champagnes
We are talking about names that are a bit more familiar to the general public, for a slightly higher budget. To impress your companion or more mundane guests, opt for one of the champagnes that I have selected for you!
Veuve Clicquot Brut Vintage: the best of mid-range
Champagne of character, very elegant in the mouth
I see you coming, all panicked that you are: a Widow Clicquot, no but I'm not Rothschild me! Do not worry, the bottle I found (a vintage please) stays in what is "affordable", at least to celebrate a great occasion.
The Veuve Clicquot house owes its name to Madame Barbe Clicquot de Ponsardin, who in 1805 took over the family business of her late husband François and made it prosper. And his champagnes had a tremendous success in Russia and was covered with praise, especially by Pushkin, Chekhov and Gogol!
I present you, finally, a vintage champagne. It is quite difficult, you can imagine, to find a quality champagne at an affordable price … but I managed this little tour de force with the Veuve Clicquot Brut Vintage of 2008, which was a surprisingly good year for the Champagne vineyards (despite the capricious weather).
It consists of 61% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Meunier grapes at a dosage of 8 g per liter.
This wine is different from the other two vintages (2002 and 2004), by a little more, unpublished, during the vinification: 5% of the wines were indeed vinified and raised in wood tuns coming from the forests of the Center of France, of Allier and Vosges. This particular method gives it aromas very slightly woody, vanilla and toasted, to those, specific to the grape varieties, citrus (lemon) and dried fruit (apricot), which will appeal to the most demanding gastronomes by its character!
This brut has a straw color with green hues and pronounced (and persistent) bubbles, which will go wonderfully well with white meats, white fish, schnitzel (whose flavor is more delicate), crab or to an old county. Know that you have the choice this time: you can either consume it immediately (why deprive yourself, after all?), Or keep it in the cellar. If you opt for the second option, we advise you until 2030, not beyond (even if it is already a great potential of guard!). If in big impatient that you are, you decide to open it this year, I advise you to serve it at a temperature of 10-12 °, to fully enjoy its aromas and flavors!
Vranken Brut Brut Head of Cuvée: the success of a Belgian
Available in supermarkets
One of the most popular champagnes of the young ladies … is that of a native of Belgium (but heart of Champagne), Paul-François Vranken. It was the first, in the 80s, to offer a quality champagne in the supermarket … Pari successful?
Well, we can say that yes, since his company is to this day one of the largest in Champagne (and this gentleman saw big, establishing also vineyards for the production of wine in the Camargue or in France. Provence)! I decided to introduce you to one of her most cherished champagnes: Brut Tête de Cuvée.
We start here on a non-vintage champagne composed of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, which gives it a light gold color with green and white highlights. But what will please no doubt is not only its freshness, but also its lightness, thanks to the fine bubbles (and aerial)!
The Demoiselle Tête de Cuvée clearly stands out from the basic cuvée, more "passe-partout", and meets a great success as an aperitif, with the ladies, who appreciate its fresh aromas of citrus (lemon and grapefruit), d apricot and a touch of honey.
Well, personally, this is not the kind of champagne I love: the foam is too persistent for my taste. It lacks a little of the elegance I expect from a wine of this kind … (it reminds me a little of the foam that you get by pouring lemonade).
I advise you to serve it fresher than other champagnes offered in this selection, namely between 6 and 8 ° (so take the trouble to put it in the fridge a few hours before the arrival of your girlfriends, ladies!).
For a champagne destined for large retailers (but not a distributor brand, I emphasize), and therefore sold at a relatively democratic price, we are not disappointed!
Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut: a must
Fresh and fruity Champagne
To serve only with certain dishes
Another "old" house (1829) that makes us turn our heads with its champagnes. And above all: it is the one that is fond of a certain secret agent 007! The house has also, on the occasion of the 24th film of the saga, produced a special vintage "Specter".
This special vintage (which sounds all the same better than "brut sans année", it must be said) consists in the blending of 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% sucker, among the 85% Grands and Premiers Crus from its vineyards. It is then dosed between 8 and 9 g per liter, then kept several years in cellar before being offered!
You have, against all odds, the opportunity to keep a little cellar (waiting for the perfect opportunity, is not it?) Or drink quickly. It's up to you !
We are here on a champagne with a golden robe and a very fine bubble which is adorned with pleasant aromas of pear, nuts and spices. This is typically the type of champagne that I enjoy as an accompaniment to sushi and sashimi (yes, it's original, but it works well!), But it's good to know that it can also be very good with crustaceans (prawns, langoustines, grilled lobster), white meats or Parmesan cheese and dried hams. In short, it is destined for more refined and delicate dishes in the mouth, which it can highlight, thanks to its fresh and fruity side!
To fully enjoy all that it has to offer, I advise you to serve it at a temperature between 10 and 12 ° C … and ideally to accompany a good dish!
The best champagnes upscale
Here, we do not laugh anymore (the wallet either) … Know that I still offer champagnes "affordable" compared to what can be found on the market in terms of high-end. But they are definitely to book for very big occasions!
Krug Grande Cuvée Brut: the best high end
Accompanies many dishes
The Krug House (founded by Joseph Krug in 1843) is renowned for the exceptional quality of its champagnes, especially its Grande Cuvée. The founder, a great pioneer, has put down on paper the assembly tests carried out, so that his successors can follow in his footsteps …
In short, a house of tradition that attracts visitors from around the world every year!
The Grande Cuvée is the iconic bottle of Krug: a champagne of great finesse going beyond the vintages. Well, that's what the house says, but what is it really?
Krug here produces more than 120 wines from more than ten different years and three grape varieties (50% pinot noir, 20% pinot meunier, 30% chardonnay), then leaves its Grande Cuvée at least 7 years in the cellars. of the House. It's rare enough to be underlined!
Absolutely all Krug Champagnes have an excellent aging potential: every year is exceptional.
We are here on a straw-colored champagne with very fine and lively bubbles, as well as notes of hazelnut, nougat, barley sugar, fruit jelly and citrus and, even more subtle, notes of almond, brioche and honey. A wine that, I must say, seriously pique my curiosity, although unfortunately I have neither the budget to give me a bottle or cellar where I could keep it (it deserves that we take care! ).
The richness of this Krug Brut marries with many dishes: no absolute need for a sophisticated dish, you can quite accompany a simple dish (fish for example). We can savor it as an aperitif, at the entrance (with a small plate of oysters or shrimp), the dish (the Indian cuisine, in particular, works very well with this champagne) or dessert (a good pie tatin, yum!)!
You can choose to drink it this year or keep it in the cellar; in this case, ensure that it is kept in the correct conditions (ie in a cool, dry place between
10 and 15 ° C).
I advise you to serve this champagne (like all those of the house Krug) at a temperature between 9 and 12 ° C to fully reveal its richness.
Veuve Clicquot The Grande Dame: the refined
Champagne with aromas of fresh fruit, mocha and biscuit
To serve only with certain dishes
Yes, definitely, the house Veuve Clicquot is a beautiful place in our selection, again with a vintage champagne (2006 this time!).
The Grande Dame is also the blend of 8 exceptional wines: Aÿ, Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzy, Verzenay for Pinot Noir (53%) and Avize, Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger for Chardonnay ( 47%). We count on a dosage of 8 g per liter, which probably ranks it possible in crudes.
The year 2006, especially its winter (cold and long), put the grapes to the test, which could have augured a real disaster … but against all expectations, the grapes of that year are exceptional!
This brut sports a light gold dress and very fine bubbles. It is also adorned with aromas of fresh fruit, biscuit (gingerbread, toast) and mocha, which promises a happy marriage with oysters, king crab, truffles, cutlets, caviar or parmesan . In short, for more refined dishes than others, you needed this champagne of character!
Know that you have the choice this time again: you can either consume it immediately, or keep it in the cellar. If you are patience, know that your vintage must be savored before 2025 (a short guard time if you buy it this year!). If you can not really wait so long, I advise you to serve it at a temperature of 10-12 °, to fully enjoy its aromas and flavors!
The products of my selection on offer at the moment
Nothing better than a flute of champagne to celebrate an occasion, be it a birthday, a marriage proposal (or the celebration of it), the end of year celebrations or just for the pleasure!
You can even give champagne to your dishes just like you would with any other wine. So, Carpe Diem the friends!
But you can imagine, to be able to enjoy a quality champagne, we must pay attention to some small details, at risk of falling on a sparkling acidity that will forever make us divert from this delicate (and refined) sparkling wine.
Do not worry, I'll give you a hand!
Types of sparkling wine
Sparkling wine is a wine with a carbon dioxide overpressure, which is generated during the fermentation of grape must. The gas in question can not be released while unclogging, which explains the pressure you feel when opening the bottle (beware of the flying cap!).
For example, the story of (maybe) tempting you, you can turn to
cavas (sparkling Spanish wine), proseccos (idem, but Italian) or crémants (I myself have a soft spot for the Crémant de Bourgogne), to name a few!
The method of manufacture
Depending on the type of fermentation method used and their storage, a different sparkling wine is obtained. Thus, champagne results from a method specific to the region (champenoise method), which differs from the traditional method by the use of second fermentation in the bottle … and which can only be used for the production of said champagne.
By and large, after the grape harvest (made by hand, bunch after grape), the bunches of grapes are collected and pressed in three successive phases. We distinguish the destination of the marc at the end of the second pressing, which will then be scheduled for bottling for the trade (sub-brands) and for the bottler (proper name).
Then comes one of the important parts: winemaking (fermentation if you prefer). The musts are then placed in vats, where they will stay a little while, like a "classic" white wine (no bubbles yet). But that's not all: the wine will then be tasted and then blended with a wine from another grape variety (from previous vintages) to bring harmony to the whole.
Then we bottle. "We'll finally be able to taste it," you say … Nay! It's not finished, before that, we must add sugar and yeasts (to create alcohol and carbon dioxide) and then ferment a second time, but in the bottle this time (a bit like some Belgian beers d 'elsewhere !).
The second winemaking is then done in the cellar, at low temperature (11 ° C), for 1 month and a half / two months, then on slats for fifteen months (for non-vintage crudes) or three years (for vintage wines).
During the process, they are stored with the head tilted down and the bottles are expected to be turned (changing the slope by 1 / 8th, regularly, to be exact), in order to lower the dregs in the cork, before "Disgorge" (basically, eliminate the excess yeast that has accumulated in the cork).
Finally, after the period proper to each, the dosage liquor is added to "create" crude, dry or semi-dry. Then we rebouche, we keep in cellar, and hop, it is waiting for you! So it's a real skill, which requires patience, but when you see the finished product (big house or not), it's worth it!
The champagne, which is found today in abundance both on the shelves of supermarkets and cellars, comes from the region of the same name, namely: Champagne (logic). And when we know that France produces no less than 640 million bottles of sparkling wines, nearly half of which are champagnes, we have something to admire!
It is produced mainly on the 35,000 hectares of vines that surround Reims, Épernay, Château-Thierry and Bar-sur-Aube and is therefore adorned with subtle nuances depending on the area where it is grown (the soil is not even).
Note that only 324 villages have the right to name their champagne "raw" (term that I will explain later), the rest being, you can imagine, pale copies …
So beware of cheap bottles, unknown to the battalion, which abound in the stalls of big brands!
The status of the bottler
Champagne is the only AOC wine (Denomination of controlled origin) for which it is not mandatory to indicate this mention. On the other hand, the label must contain certain mentions, in particular that of the domain which proceeded to disgorge.
The grape varieties
You are still a neophyte and do not know what a grape variety? I will try to explain it to you, in a few words: a grape variety is a type of vine plant, which has its own characteristics (place of culture, appearance, taste, water needs, nutrients and sun …) .
If there are many varieties (nearly 6000), we see that it is often the same ones that come back in the development of wines. Some vine growers are beginning to vary their production a little, to return to older varieties, but they remain, after all, few. I would still be very curious to know what would give a wine made from these vines!
These grapes are grown according to very strict specifications and in very specific geographical areas. Thus, Chardonnay is grown on the Côte des Blancs (South of Épernay) and Pinot Noir on the Côte de Bar and Montagne de Reims. In short, we do not grow any grape on any soil!
To make a champagne, on the other hand, we mainly use 3 grape varieties: Chardonnay (light-skinned grapes), Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (grapes with black skin and white juice). In terms of blending, we are on 30% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir and 30% sucker (approximately, because the different houses have their own proportions in the assemblages).
Note also that most raw champagnes are not vintage.
We finally come to the heart of the matter! This is usually what draws on a bottle of wine: is it vintage or not?
It is also, unfortunately, one of the criteria that goes into determining the price of champagne … and the note can be quite salty!
The crude without year (BSA)
This is a champagne made from different grape varieties, years and regions. The taste, therefore, remains constant. The brands then play on the dosage in order to stand out from each other. This champagne is aged in cellar at least 15 months before being marketed.
Here, it is here that it is corse. The vintage champagne is composed entirely (and exclusively) of grapes of one (same) year which proved particularly good, and this, in the 3 usual grape varieties. It must, as a bonus, age in cellar a minimum of 3 years.
Depending on the year (and harvests), the aromas may vary. Some houses even offer prestigious wines, for years more than exceptional.
I invite you to inquire about vintages to buy absolutely … or to avoid directly in a guide of vintages (and specifically champagne: the regions are indeed not subject to the same climatic conditions)! The prices, of course, are in agreement …
The grand cru
Appellation granted not according to the year, but of the soil. In the case of the Grand Cru, only the communes classified at 100% (those with the best soils) can affix this name.
The first vintage
Same principle as for the grand cru, but for municipalities whose classification is between 90 and 99%.
The white of whites
This champagne is made exclusively from Chardonnay. The taste is usually more delicate … and the price much higher.
The white of blacks
This white champagne is made from pinot noir and pinot meunier.
Rosé is not a wine strictly speaking, but results from a blend of white wine and red wine. We thus obtain a rosé champagne either by mixing an ordinary champagne with bouzy (red wine champenois) or with a mixture resulting from the maceration of the skin of the pinots during the vinification.
The rosé is especially popular with ladies and is always a sensation on special occasions such as Valentine's Day!
The special vintage (or raw reserved, raw first, large reserve)
This mention is purely commercial (but which attracts the eye of the consumer), which does not relate to anything specific. It is found on both vintage and raw wine bottles.
After the raw, we examine the dosage, which corresponds to the amount of added sugar (especially to create alcohol).
The raw nature (or extra brut)
If the wine has received a dosage of less than 3 g per liter, then it is called a plain raw or "zero dosage" (if no addition of sugar). Nevertheless, you must know that only a grape of exceptional quality does not require a dosage!
It tastes pretty dry, and is good for salty dishes not too typical. It is commonly served as an aperitif, but can also be enjoyed accompanying a subtle dish. It contains a fairly small amount of sugar, which makes it a pretty lively champagne.
If you serve a "raw stock", know that this champagne guarantees a maturation of four years.
On the market, most champagnes are raw. To be able to call this name, they must not contain more than 12 g of sugar per liter.
I advise you to choose raw champagnes whose dosage is less than 10 g to avoid the impression of "drink" sugar (no, champagne is not Champomy!).
Dry champagne has sugar contents ranging from 17 to 35 g per liter.
For the semi-dry, we start rather at a rate ranging from 33 to 50 g / liter for the semi-dry. Compared to raw, which is more reminiscent of grapes, the semi-dry is sweeter: ideal to be savored with a foie gras or at the end of a meal, whether as a digestive or as a side dish for a dessert.
A sweet champagne contains more than 50 g of sugar per liter.
Each grape, grown on a specific plot, brings its characteristics to the blend: Pinot Noir brings body and power to champagne; the miller, the sweet and round side; finally, the Chardonnay, for the floral notes.
Of course, the vintages can differ from one year to another, depending on the climatic conditions that have known the grapes (frosts, drought, precipitation), so it is quite possible to have more aromas or less different!
If you are looking for aromas of rose, honey and peach, I advise you to go to a rosé champagne and some semi-dry.
And be careful: champagne, like any other wine, can mature (or age), which can affect its aromas (more or less pronounced).
A "young" champagne (meaning the one you have at the end of the cellar, after a fermentation of 15 months to 3 years), will be more on the notes of white flowers, citrus fruits and fresh fruits.
The mature champagnes (between 3 and 5 years old) will have aromas of ripe and candied fruits.
The oldest champagnes (thus at least 5 years old), for their part, express aromas of dried and "grilled" flowers.
The dress is the color and the appearance of the wine. For a champagne, it's the same: the lighter the color, the lighter it is; conversely, the more its color tends to amber or gold, the more powerful it is.
Preservation of champagne bottles
On conserve le champagne dans une cave, idéalement à une température d’environ 10° sans variations de température, sans lumière, et avec une hygrométrie plutôt élevée (taux d’humidité).
Si vous disposez d’une cave naturelle qui reprend ces conditions, parfait. Sinon, je vous conseille d’opter pour une cave de vieillissement (voir notre article consacré au sujet).
Les petites astuces pour servir le champagne
Le type de verre
On ne sert pas un champagne comme on servirait de la limonade, vous vous en doutez. La forme du verre a son importance (comme pour les vins blancs et rouges d’ailleurs) !
Hé non, servir dans des coupes, comme dans les films, n’est assurément pas une bonne idée ! Pour servir un champagne, optez donc pour des verres “tulipes” aux bords très fins tels que les flûtes, afin de laisser les bulles remonter et exprimer tous leurs arômes.
Une fois le verre prêt, faites couler le champagne sur les parois du verre et ne le remplissez qu’à moitié. Humez-le un peu, puis dégustez-le, en le gardant en bouche quelques instants.
La température idéale
Le champagne se sert à une température située entre 8 et 10°C. Le champagne se boit donc froid, mais jamais glacé : abstenez-vous donc de le mettre au congélateur (au risque de vous retrouver…sans bulles) !
Il suffit de le laisser 4h dans le bas du réfrigérateur avant de le servir, puis de le plonger dans un seau de glaçons. C’est aussi simple que ça.
Le champagne en cuisine
Le champagne, relégué pendant longtemps à l’apéritif, peut évidemment accompagner tout au long du repas. Il est même possible (si vous en avez les moyens) de n’accorder vos plats qu’au champagne !
On peut aussi le faire sortir de son rôle d’accompagnement en l’utilisant directement dans les recettes. J’ai pour ma part un vrai petit faible pour la gelée de champagne sur un carpaccio de Saint Jacques ou le sabayon au champagne, mais c’est vous qui voyez !
Les accords mets et vins
Un blanc de blanc ou un jeune brut non millésimé fera parfaitement l’affaire pour accompagner vos amuse-bouche (surtout ceux au poisson et aux fruits de mer). Ce qui compte alors, c’est la fraîcheur et la finesse, on attendra le reste du repas pour proposer des champagnes plus “corsés”.
Évitez de mettre sur la table tout ce qui est “salé” ou trop épicé, à savoir cacahuètes, les chips ou les olives grecques.
Avec ces mêmes champagnes, on peut partir sur des entrées à base de crustacés et de poissons (huîtres, saumon fumé, plateaux de fruits de mer, tartare de poisson, sushis et sashimis, terrines de poissons ou de crustacés).
Pour des entrées comprenant du jambon fumé avec du melon ou des figues, des fromages en dés type comté ou parmesan ou encore avec des petits pains aux noix ou aux olives, essayez donc un champagne rosé !
Le foie gras mi-cuit, par contre, fera merveille accompagné d’un blanc de noirs ou d’un blanc de blancs, tandis que le foie gras poêlé semblera divin avec un champagne qui tire plus sur l’acidité, donc à dominante de chardonnay.
Le plat principal
La plupart des blanc de blancs se marient assez facilement à tous les plats de poissons (ou d’autres produits de la mer) en sauce crémée ou un peu relevée, ainsi qu’avec les volailles et les viandes blanches à la crème.Avec un champagne blanc de noirs, essayez des viandes plus puissantes comme un gigot d’agneau ou des volailles rôties. Enfin, les rosés, étonnamment, s’accordent assez bien avec de nombreux plats à base de saumon..
La plupart des champagnes s’accordent très bien avec de nombreux fromages, notamment les pâtes dures tels beaufort, comté, parmesan, brebis des Pyrénées. Pour le brie et le camembert, un blanc de blanc fera des émules (pour l’époisse aussi d’ailleurs !).
Pour le dessert, par contre, ça se complique sérieusement. Les puristes, eux, préféreront s’abstenir de dessert…c’est vous dire !
Certains ne font pas du tout bon ménage avec le champagne ! On avancera notamment le cas ô combien problématique du chocolat : dans la majorité des cas, il ne sera pas un grand ami du champagne, mais il est possible (bien que difficilement) de le marier. Plus le chocolat sera “noir”, plus le champagne qui l’accompagne devra être vif (et l’inverse se vérifie aussi : un demi-sec avec des chocolats plus sucrés). Mais c’est une fameuse prise de risques !
Comme valeur sûre, vous pouvez vous orienter vers des desserts fruités, notamment la poire et les fruits rouges (un délice avec le champagne rosé !).
La cuisine au champagne
On ne sait jamais, il est tout à fait possible de tomber sur une mauvaise bouteille…ou de ne pas en terminer une (c’est possible ça ?). Auquel cas, vous pouvez tout à fait cuisiner au champagne !
Pour l’apéritif, rien de plus simple : le kir royal. Il suffit pour cela d’ajouter une crème de fruit (crème de cassis ou pêche de vigne, mes favoris) ou un mélange de jus de citron et de cointreau (la version champenoise).
On peut aussi l’utiliser pour des sauces, des marinades ou pour la cuisson de pâtes et de riz (un bon risotto par exemple).
Si le marier à un dessert est complexe, on peut aisément en faire un dessert : granité (avec un champagne demi-sec), sorbet, mousse, dans une salade de fruits ou un sabayon.
L’offre est assez grande en ce qui concerne les champagnes, comme vous avez pu le constater tout au long de ce guide d’achat. On en trouve aussi à tous les prix.
J’ai pris le parti dans cet article de ne proposer que des maisons reconnues et non des marques de distributeur. Le prix est donc à l’avenant, entre trente et plusieurs centaines d’euros (certaines bouteilles atteignent d’ailleurs des prix affolants !).
Bref, un champagne, c’est plus compliqué qu’il n’y parait, aussi bien au moment de le choisir que de le savourer. En ce qui me concerne, je suis adepte du “Après l’effort, le réconfort”, alors je vous laisse ici, histoire de me faire plaisir avec une petite flûte de champagne et quelques fraises !