Food & Drinks

Pairing champagne with Valentine's dinner

Alexandre Helaine, East African market manager for Moët-Hennessy

Alexandre Helaine, East African market manager for Moët-Hennessy. PHOTO | COURTESY

Summary

  • As the rich stew simmers, making the whole house smell amazing, start setting the table with a champagne bottle.
  • This Valentine’s, serving a meal with champagne or sparkling wine at home will be a perfect way to spend the day with a loved one.
  • For newbies, all champagnes are sparkling wines, but not all sparkling wines are champagne. 

As the rich stew simmers, making the whole house smell amazing, start setting the table with a champagne bottle.

This Valentine’s, serving a meal with champagne or sparkling wine at home will be a perfect way to spend the day with a loved one.

For newbies, all champagnes are sparkling wines, but not all sparkling wines are champagne. 

“Champagne is a wine, with bubbles. Champagne can only be called 'champagne' if the grapes it is made from the Champagne region of France. Champagne is a protected area as the process, the quality of grapes, and the know-how is the best,” said Alexandre Helaine, the East African market manager for Moët-Hennessy. 

Moët Impérial allows for a perfect pairing with a wide range of appetisers, entrees, and desserts. 

It pairs perfectly with sushi and sashimi, scallops and oysters, given the vibrant intensity of green apples and notes of citrus fruit. It is ultra-low on sugar and will not interfere with the taste of fresh fish and seafood. If you are not a big fan of seafood, pair it with seasoned and grilled chicken and sautéed vegetables. 
 
Oily and salty foods bring out the fruitiness and freshness of champagne, so if your heart says that it wants chicken and chips or pizza for your Valentine's dinner, you can wash it down with a glass of the standard champagne. 

Dry champagnes such as the Impérial Brut also pair well with creamy dishes such as mushroom risotto or a chicken alfredo because the acidity in the champagne can cut through the richness of the dish.

On the other hand, Moët Rosé Impérial, is known for its pinkish hue and tastes of strawberry, raspberry and red currant. The pink hue comes from the excess Pinot Noir grapes used in the production process and perfectly complements the taste buds and a wide range of foods. 

For appetizers, the rosé pairs well with a goat’s cheese and olive tray, whereas for dessert, it can be used to wash down a medley of red and stone fruits like plums and peaches. 

In the same way that you would serve a full-bodied red wine, rosés pair well with a wide variety of meat dishes, especially savoury and leaner cuts such as steak or pork tenderloin. 

To round off the night, Mr Helaine recommends “Moët & Chandon Nectar and Nectar Rosé which are both ideal champagnes for pairing with desserts” because both the “Nectar and Nectar Rose have a sweet taste coming from the natural process during the disgorgement process.”

When in doubt for dessert, you can never go wrong with a simple bowl of strawberries and crème or chocolate-covered strawberries. If your heart is yearning for something a bit more solid, you can pair a glass of champagne with a creamy dessert like a cheesecake or custard and again, the light, crisp taste and bubbles will perfectly contrast the creaminess of each bite.