Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Champagne and Chicken Dishes

The French drink Champagne with their food and you'd be surprised at how many dishes Champagne enhances. Champagne pairs very well with chicken dishes – even oriental ones, especially those using lemon grass, or mild curries. Champagnes made with a blend of Chardonnay have a rich mouth feel with the flavours of tropical fruit, apples and figs and go well with chicken in cream based sauces. Blanc de Noirs Champagne's (made only with the black Pinor Noir grape) are crisp with flavours of lemons, melon and spice and are great with fragrant spicy chicken dishes, especially Thai or Vietnamese cuisine using cilantro, ginger and chillies. Rosé Champagnes are bright and fresh with flavours of raspberry, cherry and melon and pair well with smoked chicken and dishes with high levels of herbs. Vintage Champagnes with bottle age are great with rich dishes made with cheese such as Parmesan and pates.

Recommended Champagnes

These Champagnes are made by Philippe Secondé of the renowned Champagne House Barnaut:

Champagne Grande Reserve Brut £16.13, made with 67% Pinot Noir and 33% Chardonnay. Golden in colour with fine, lively bubbles it has the smell of intense fruits: apricot, honey, roasted hazel nuts and smoke. When in the mouth it attacks the taste buds with a good balance of those fruit and leaves a lovely lingering, full bodied, dry (Brut) after taste.

Champagne Blanc de Noirs Brut £16.13, made with 100% Pinot Noir. Good golden colour with fine bubbles which produces scents of spices, chocolate, minerals, wheat, fresh flowers, plums and white fruits. In the mouth it is full bodied, well balanced with plenty of spicy fruits which creates a long, dry unexpected after taste.

Champagne Authentic Rosé Brut £18.10, made with 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay. A lovely, almost strawberry in colour Rosé, full of fruit and berries and a full bodied fruity 'Kir Royale' taste with the dryness of the Pinot Noir lingering through.

Champagne Vintage Brut Millesimes 1998 £26.42, made with 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay. When a Champagne maker has an exceptional harvest a millesime is declared and Philippe Seconde's 1998 Champagne Vintage Brut Millesimes is simply divine. It oozes quality with loads of small bubbles exploding refreshingly in the mouth leaving a clean fruity and long after taste.

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