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“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.”  — Bette Davis

Most of us associate champagne with special occasions, but after checking out the Yelloweek festivities last month, I learned that champagne can also be enjoyed on a regular basis, whether it be with a meal or while out on a sunny patio, much like a glass of beer or wine.

I had the pleasure of attending an exclusive dinner at Teatro Cucina in Bayview Village where head chef of La Société, Roman Avril, put together an incredible five-course menu paired with different types of champagne. From Blanc de Blancs to Vintage to Rosé, the options are limitless.

Read on to find out more about how and when to pair your favourite foods with champagne and enjoy the bubbly on a more frequent basis.

The Basics

On a spectrum of sweetness, a Doux is the sweetest you can go, while an Extra Brut is the driest. Other champagne varieties include Demi-Sec, Dry, Extra Dry and Brut. Dry and Extra Dry tend to be the most popular with champagne drinkers, but I’m more of a sucker for a sweet Demi-Sec.

For Brunch

Veuve Cliquot

Having champagne during brunch isn’t that uncommon – mimosas, anyone? – but I encourage you to enjoy a glass without the OJ mixed in. I promise you won’t look like an alcoholic. You’ll have a better appreciation for the aroma and taste of the champagne and how it compliments the food. Ask for a glass next time with your eggs benedict, breakfast meat, waffles, pancakes, fruit or quiche.

Suggested pairing: Veuve Clicquot ‘Yellow Label’ Brut

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For Salty Foods

Ceviche - Champagne

Sweet and salty really compliment each other (chocolate-covered pretzels… I die.) Salty dishes pair best with a Doux, Demi-Sec or Brut champagne. Other salty food combos that go well with these champagnes include Asian and Mexican food, fish and other seafood.

Suggested pairing: Veuve Clicquot Brut Vintage 2004

Veuve_Brut_Vintage

For Cheese

Veuve Clicquot, Cheese Board, Goat Cheese

Throw a Champagne and Cheese party which, trust me, is way more sophisticated than a Wine and Cheese party. Invite some friends and keep things classy with a selection of light and heavy cheeses paired with Dry or Extra Dry champagne. Calling a champagne dry might sound weird, but all that means is that the champagne isn’t sweet.

Suggested pairing: Veuve Clicquot ‘Yellow Label’ Brut

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For Dessert

A Doux or Demi-Sec champagne pairs nicely with desserts that are slightly sweet, like dark chocolate. These champagnes will add flavour to sweet desserts too but note that some desserts may just be too sweet and no champagne will be able to compliment it well. Always avoid Brut and Extra Brut pairings with dessert – the dryness of the bubbly makes for an unpleasant combo.

Suggested pairing: Veuve Clicquot Demi-Sec

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If you give any of the above pairings a try, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below how you like to enjoy your bubbly!

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Image Sources: Header, [1],[2] | All other images via Veuve Clicquot

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