pairing Champagne styles

Pairing Champagne styles for special occasions

Tuesday 02nd Jul 2024 |

Champagne has always been synonymous with celebration and is the perfect accompaniment to marking life’s wins – big or small.

From receiving exam results to graduating from university, accepting a job offer or getting promoted, Champagne should undoubtedly be the drink of choice when it comes to celebrating these successes.

With exam season upon us, many will already be thinking ahead to the moment in which they receive those long-awaited results and are finally able to celebrate their hard work and achievements.

As such, The Champagne Bureau UK* has highlighted some of the ways Champagne can be enjoyed during these moments and the history as to where it all started.  

*The Champagne Bureau UK is a trade association representing Champagne growers and houses, appointed by the Comité Champagne

How Champagne Quickly Became Associated to Life Achievements

The Kingdom of France was born with Clovis’ baptism in Reims, a city in the Champagne region, where wine from the region became closely associated with the king and with nobility before later becoming known as the wine of coronation and the “the wine of Kings and the King of wines”. From 898 to 1825, France’s Kings would be crowned in Reims. Champagne wines were said to flow freely at all the coronation banquets. Highly prized for their taste and finesse, it soon became customary to gift and enjoy these wines with any royalty visiting the region. This is where the legendary status of Champagne began.

Since then, Champagne has continued to be the wine of choice for special occasions and celebratory moments, including life achievements, pop culture or sporting events. Whether to gift or to treat ourselves for our wins, Champagne is a symbol of positivity, joy and success.

Choosing A Specific Style for Your Celebration

Ideal for celebrating life’s everyday wins in the afternoon sun,Champagne Blanc de Blancs is a bright, refreshing wine that is marked by a balance between citrus acidity and light mellowness. The freshness of this versatile wine means that it pairs wonderfully with seafood, particularly sushi and oysters, as the lightness of the Champagne won’t overpower their delicate flavours.

When choosing a Champagne style for the festive seasonChampagne Blanc de Noirs generally has greater depth, with notes of white, yellow, red, black, citrus and exotic fruits, as well as floral touches and spices such as cinnamon and cloves. These rich notes make pairings like steak an excellent choice and the use of black grapes means that Blanc de Noirs is full-bodied and complements poultry, pork and winter recipes.

Delicious with sweet treats, Champagne Demi-sec to Doux also possesses rich aromas, with its higher sugar content making this a rounder and more indulgent wine that works as an accompaniment to dessert, particularly those that are fruit-based. The most popular style and most common in the UK is a Brut Champagne. Often presented at events, it contains less than 12 grams of sugar per litre. It is the most versatile of styles and can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a meal.  

Perfect forthe summer graduation season, Champagne Rosé is more varied, ranging in colour from soft to deep pink and from very light to full-bodied, meaning that the aromas produced can either be fresh, or more powerful. As such, cheese and charcuterie pair beautifully with Champagne Rosé, thanks to the wine’s fruity notes.

Gifting Champagne in Honour of Success

There is no doubt that Champagne is an exceptional drink; therefore, making it the perfect gift for celebrating the success of loved ones.

For life’s pinnacle moments such as work milestones and notable birthdays, a Vintage Champagne encapsulates the meaning of luxury. Produced when a harvest reveals a typicity worth preserving, the flavour of a Vintage Champagne reflects the grape from which it was produced to an even greater extent. It is made solely from wines harvested that same year and is known for being full of character.

To the eye, Vintage Champagnes are a golden yellow colour, and on the nose, they possess toasted and roasted notes, as well as complex fruity, floral, and spicy aromas. In terms of pairings, duck served with a plum or berry sauce works wonderfully, whilst white fish, smoked salmon, tuna, and caviar also pair very well. 

An alternative gifting option is a Champagne magnum. Magnums have better ageing potential than standard-sized bottles, thereby elevating the taste thanks to the complex, layered profiles that can develop as a result.

Horsing Around at Netherby Hall and The Pentonbridge Inn