Champagne: Not just for New Year's

 


Popping a cork on a bottle of sparking wine is usually reserved for New Year’s festivities. This holiday season, make a change and break out the flutes before the big ball drops. Serve some simple champagne cocktails at your next holiday party or pair the bubbly with complementary foods at a home get-together.

As most know, sparkling wine originated in France, and is a big part of its culture. French native Eric Favier, owner/chef of Tallahassee’s French cuisine restaurant Chez Pierre, greatly favors this festive drink. “It’s a great way to celebrate, whether you’re a cocktail or a wine drinker,” he adds.

Café Cabernet cheers this drink as well. “Champagne is a fun way to start off any party. It’s classically thought of as the toasting drink, but it’s a great starter for your first beverage of the night,” says Jeff Spencer, the bar and restaurant’s general manager.

Impress your company or significant other with effortless champagne cocktails such as three parts Champagne to one part Grand Marnier, which has a nice orange flavor. Both Spencer and Favier suggest the St. Germain Cocktail, which mixes Champagne with the liqueur — which has an alluring flowery fragrance — and sparkling water.

From light fruits like berries to smoked salmon, Champagne is a great pair for a variety of basic foods. And don’t limit this bubbly drink to fancy dinners. Bring out a bottle of extra dry champagne for taco night or with Asian food. The spiciness of these entrees go great with the acidity of the champagne. “I personally enjoy sparkling wine with oysters,” says Spencer.

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