Rohan Jelkie, Internal Brand Ambassador at Moet Hennessy India, writes on wine etiquette and shares tips on pairing sparkling wines with food.
Many of us see a good bottle of sparkling wine or champagne as a drink for special occasions. While that may be true, I personally feel that a great bottle of bubbly chilling in the fridge is just the right occasion I need! On most occasions while hosting friends at home (and they drop by frequently!), a few glasses of chilled Chandon is what I serve as an aperitif or early evening drink. Post which my guests are more than welcome to chose anything else they would like to drink. A few still prefer to hold on to their precious bubbles!
Serving sparkling wine is not rocket science; however there are a few dos and don’ts associated with it that you should ideally follow:
- Once you have opened the bottle and served the wine, put it back in the fridge or the wine chiller if there is still some wine left.
- Pop the glasses inside the fridge for about 10 minutes before using them. A chilled glass for a chilled bottle of sparkling wine!
- Have clean sparkling wine flutes. Sediments or water marks on the inside of the glass (which may contain traces of washing soap) are not good for retaining the fizz in the drink.
- Make sure the bottle is optimally chilled inside the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours before being opened. If your need is urgent, then dip the whole bottle in a chilling bucket which is filled half with ice and half with water for half an hour.
- Once opened, a bottle of sparkling wine should be best consumed within a few hours.
- A bottle should ideally be stored horizontally on its side and left in a cool, dark place (cabinet, bar counter etc) away from strong odours, light and vibration. Do not store a bottle of sparkling wine (or any wine for that matter!) inside the fridge.
Some simple foods I like to pair with my favourite sparkling wine Chandon:
- Cheese! Good soft to semi hard cheese is great with a nice, fresh and fruity glass of Chandon with it its crisp acidity. Mild English Cheddar, Emmental, Camembert or even some fresh feta sprinkled over a salad works great. In fact, a plate of potato fries with melted cheese on top will work well too!
- Dimsums! Vegetarian, meat or even seafood dimsums go well with the Chandon Brut. But take care not to load it with excess dips as they may be strong in flavour.
- Sushi! The hottest food since it arrived on our shores, any form of it works great with a chilled glass of Chandon.
- Pizza. From a simple sun-dried tomato, basil and mozzarella to a loaded chicken pizza will pair well with the Chandon Brut, and a pepperoni pizza with the Chandon Brut Rose.
- Biryani. A nice vegetarian biryani with morels, vegetables and koftas or a hearty chicken biryani with a chilled glass of the Chandon Brut.
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