While most of us have been taught champagne is meant to be opened for special occasions, we are here to tell you that every day of the week is a special occasion!
Like most wines, champagne goes beautifully with a variety of dishes and especially with Asian cuisine. Do not limit yourself to pre-dinner champagne, pair your wine at every stage of the meal from appetizer to desert. Now you are probably wondering what fancy dish you could cook to enhance your champagne?
Well the good news is it does not need to be a Three Michelin star dish! A popular disbelief is thinking champagne does not pair well with everyday meals. On the contrary, there is no reason for you not to accompany tonight’s dinner with champagne. To show you just how unlimited your possibilities are, here is a list of some of our favorite Asian food and champagne pairings.
Sushi and Blanc de Blancs
Our champagne suggestion: Larmandier-Bernier ‘Latitude’ | NV | Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
Although there is no denying sake and sushi go hand in hand, champagne and sushi are a match made in heaven. The balance between acidity and freshness in ‘Latitude’ adds a lot of complexity to the sushi. Not only does the champagne’s effervescence cut through fat and saltiness but it also cleanses the palate and helps the taste buds focus on the flavour of the raw fish. The pure minerality of the champagne expresses generosity and vitality which in turn deepens the texture of the sushi.
Our restaurant suggestion: Signature Ootoro Sushi at Hashida Sushi
Sea Urchin and Pinot Blanc Our champagne suggestion:
Pierre Gerbais | NV | L’Originale Extra Brut Pinot Blanc
Sea urchin is a delicacy that is unusually complicated to pair. Because of its very peculiar palate, uni needs to be paired with a fairly acidic and mineral wine. We love Drappier’s ‘Quattuor’ cuvée for its fresh grape, citrus fruit and white flower notes. The chiselled minerality and freshness of this champagne beautifully brings out the sea urchin’s strong earthy flavour.
Our restaurant suggestion: Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Oscietra Caviar at Tetsuya’s Waku Ghin
Peking Duck and Blanc de Noirs Our champagne suggestion:
Flavien Nowack ‘La Fontinette’ | 2013 | Blanc de Meunier
With its juicy red fruit, cherry, strawberry and raspberry notes, Flavien Nowack’s Blanc de Meunier is the perfect match for Peking Duck. We love how the smooth texture and fuller vinous style of the wine complements the thin, crispy skin of the duck. The smoothness of its texture and suave, decadent herbal-mineral edge balances perfectly the richness of Peking Duck.
Our restaurant suggestion: Yàn at the National Gallery
Singapore Fried Chicken and Extra Brut Our champagne suggestion:
Bonnet-Ponson Premier Cru | NV | Extra Brut
What we enjoy with this pairing is how the citrus and toasted nut notes cut off the fat and greasy nature of the fried chicken. The upfront freshness of the Bonnet-Ponson counteracts the heaviness while the acidity and bubbles of the champagne bring magnitude to the dish and amplify its crunchiness.
Our restaurant suggestion: Rang Mang Shokudo
Wagyu and Vintage champagne
Our champagne suggestion: Charles Heidsieck ‘Blanc des Millénaires’ | 2004 | Vintage Blanc de Blancs
If you are as much of a wagyu aficionado as we are, you will love this pairing! There is nothing that quite compares to the way wagyu beef melts on your tongue. The density and texture of this vintage enhances beautifully the juicy, rich and delicate nature of wagyu beef. No matter how you decide to prepare your meat; slow cooked, grilled over charcoal, marinated, etc… the fresh, mineral and toasty notes of the ‘Blanc des Millénaires’ will bring out the peculiar tenderness of your wagyu and make your meal that much more extraordinary.
Our restaurant suggestion: Burnt Ends
Australian wagyu served with a side of marrow bread
Image courtesy of World’s 50 Best
Xiao Long Bao and Rosé
Our champagne suggestion: De Sousa Rosé | NV | Brut
The essence of the xiao long bao is the very flavourful meat juice contained inside its savory skin. To cut through the greasiness and give it some vigor, the De Sousa Rosé is the perfect choice. We love how its creamy-mineral texture complemented by the notes of red-fruits and spices adds complexity to the dumplings. This champagne brings out the dish’s delicacy on the palate.
Our restaurant suggestion: Din Tai Fung
Steamed pork dumplings Black Sesame Mochi and Vintage Sec
Our champagne suggestion: Philipponnat ‘Sublime Réserve’ – Sec Vintage Blanc de Blancs
What we love with this pairing is how the champagne’s fizz cuts through the richness and chewiness of the sweet rice and black sesame paste. Besides the bubbles, the slight acidity and freshness of the ‘Sublime Réserve’ bring out notes of white fruit, butter and honey that go tastefully with the mochi’s delicious nutty flavours.
Our shop suggestion: Kane Mochi
Yuzu or Lemon Tart and Ratafia
Our ratafia suggestion: Egly-Ouriet Ratafia de Champagne
Although ratafia is not technically champagne, it is a very savory liqueur made in Champagne from grape juice that was fortified after being pressed and grape spirit distilled from champagne. In this pairing the roles are reversed. The yuzu tart brings a lot of acidity to the palate while the ratafia will balance it with sweetness, smoothness and creaminess. It is an unusual and yet elegant pairing.
Our restaurant suggestion: Odette
So if there is anything you should retain from this article, remember you always have a good reason to pop open a bottle of champagne and pair it with your Tuesday takeaway!