What Appetizers Pair Best With Champagne?

what-appetizers-pair-best-with-champagne

Champagne is typically the first choice for parties and celebrations.  However, when you’re hosting, you may find yourself wondering just what appetizers to pair with this bubbly beverage.  Don’t despair! This is not just a great party wine!  It is actually one of the most versatile when it comes to pairing with foods.

The term ‘champagne’ simply means ‘sparkling wine’, so there is a lot leeway when it comes to shopping for a beverage, and its companion appetizers, at your next party. Whether it be a sparkling rose, a sparkling white, a brut champagne or true Champagne from that region of France, you can’t miss with the following suggested pairings:

Antipasto

Antipasto simply means ‘before the meal’ and is the traditional first course of an Italian meal.  Traditional antipasto includes such delights as cured meats, olives, cheeses and vegetables in oils. A table laid with these will complement a delicious dry sparkling champagne.

Cheeses and Breads

Or, you may want to complement your rich sparkling rose champagne with gourmet cheeses and breads.  Think soft, spreadable cheeses as well as chunks of cheese your guests can add to a plate alongside crackers or breadsticks.

Quesadillas

A light champagne for a feisty party pairs well with spicy bite sized quesadillas or even a mini taco bar.  Quesadillas have a great flavor and the champagne will not overpower them; it is a great match!

Grilled Appetizers

For a summer party, perhaps an outdoor fete, grilled appetizers are the way to go.  Champagne is light and airy, and your appetizers will be, too.  Grilled chicken satay, grilled steak kebabs, or simply some jumbo grilled shrimp may do the trick.

Vegetables

Another light appetizer choice is vegetables.  No, not a boring vegetable tray, although, you may certainly add one of those to any spread. But, in this case, thing stuffed peppers, stuffed mushrooms, asparagus rolls, tomatoes stuffed with goat cheese, grilled cauliflower bites, artichoke and spinach dip, and perhaps even cucumber sandwiches! Again, light fair to complement your light, airy beverage choice!

Flat Bread Pizzas

Finally, why not have a pizza party?  A serve yourself pizza party is fun to prepare, fun to serve and fun to eat!  Pizza goes great with anything, especially champagne!  Find small flatbreads or mini crusts for your guests (even wraps will do) and allow them to add their favorite toppings, which you will have spread out for them.  Pizza is everyone’s favorite, and it puts everyone in a good mood.  Add it to champagne and you have a perfect party!

How to Open a Bottle of Champagne

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A bottle of bubbly is the height of sophistication, but to put a twist to a great quote of our generation- with great style comes great responsibility. Being properly able to open a bottle of champagne is an art and fumbling at it will dissolve all your good reputation of charismatic host. In fact, a faux pas in opening this drink may be considered a travesty in some circles. So before you introduce this gem of your alcohol collection, learn a trick or two to do justice to the hundred dollar bottle.

The Proper Way

There are actually not many variations of the normal, proper way of opening a bottle of bubbly, even though hosts often try to alter the steps to wow their guests. But if you are of the more traditional mold, here are the steps to follow:

Make sure the champagne is chilled and calm. There is usually a gold foil wrapped around the cork of the bottle. Tease it out and remove the foil.

Keep the cork pointed away from you (and unsuspecting guests) so that it doesn’t pop out and take out someone’s eye.

You will see a wire frame over the cork which is intended to prevent accidental uncorking, which may occur due to pressure build-up. Loosen the cage and undo it. Also, keep a thumb firmly over the cork to prevent unpleasant surprises.

Put a towel over the cork. Now holding the cork stationary, gently turn the bottle by holding the base. In this way, you get to ease the cork off instead of popping it out. This is definitely less theatrical than popping the cork out, followed by a generous gush of champagne, but it does not waste any of the golden liquid.

Pour the champagne quickly into glasses, but make sure you pour it gently by the side and not splash it down. This way you will not lose the bubbles.

After pouring into each glass, do a quick turn of the bottle a bit to catch the liquid dripping down the lip of the bottle.

Sabrage

This is a tradition of opening a champagne bottle with a sword or a knife and it originated in France in the era of Napoleon. It is a widely popular party trick and is one of the coolest ways to open a champagne bottle. But unlike the popular opinion, it does not require great skill nor is it highly dangerous. Well, not unless you are doing it way wrong. Here’s the how-to:

Remove the foil.

Run a finger below the lip of the bottle and you will find a seam because champagne bottles are made of two pieces of glass.

Slide the dull edge of the knife on the seam from bottom.

In one fluid and mildly forceful motion, slide the knife from the bottom to the neck and pop. If you hold the bottle in a forty five degree angle, there will be little spill and there is no glass breakage.

So there you have, a proper way and a fun way to open a champagne bottle.