Perfect Champagne Pairings For New Years Eve Menus
So you have decided to host a festive New Years’ Eve champagne supper. First, choose from a few New Years Eve menus and make sure to pair the food thoughtfully. Then there are still many choices to make, depending on your preference for sweet or dry champagne. You will want to weigh carefully the balance in flavors between your dinner courses and the champagne wine(s) that will be served. And finally, since this is a special occasion, you’ll want to create a mood that your guests will long remember. Lastly, choose your dinner music with care, and make sure that your co-host takes your hints, and will provide flowers for the occasion.
Here are two New Year’s Eve menus: one for a formal dinner, and one for an informal dinner. I use the word formal not to impose a dress code, but to suggest sumptuous wines that will go well with suggested main courses.
Champagne-A Formal Menu:
Appetizers (light drinks as desired):
- Spinach artichoke dip with crackers
- Mixed spiced nuts
- Steamed baby shrimp
- Coquille of Crab in Sherry Sauce (Miraval rose de Provence )
- Or French Onion Soup (Simonet-Febvre Chablis )
The light and distinctive wines refresh the palate, setting the stage for the fine champagnes that follow.
- Crisp Roast Duck (Pol Roger Brut Champagne)
- Cornish Game Hens (Taittinger Brut Vintage 2012: Moet et Chandon “Imperiale” N.V.)
New Year’s Eve is a time for pleasant memories. My wife and I greatly enjoyed our trips to the Champagne region. Christian Pol Roger was our host at his home in Epernay, and he served us what he called, “Our local tea.” It was a delicious bottle of non-vintage Pol Roger. This is a medium-weight champagne that goes very well with the suggested main course.
Cornish game hens set the stage for several different champagnes for a New Year’s Eve menu. As you go up the quality (and price) scale, from non-vintage to vintage champagnes, the prices of course rise accordingly. A vintage Taittinger would be a delicious and festive accompaniment, in lighter champagne. The non-vintage Moet et Chandon Imperiale is a sweeter, more weighty champagne that would set off the Cornish game hens well, particularly if they were served with Cumberland sauce (a red currant sauce). A Moet distributor told me that their Imperiale is such a favorite now in the United States that it has become their best-selling champagne in this price range.
Mixed Berry Pavlova or Sacher Torte. You will enjoy a light, dry wine from the Sauternes region. There is a tradition now in that celebrated area of Bordeaux to serve a “letter series” of dry white wines, not processed as the sweeter Sauternes. Try the “G de Chateau Guiraud”.
I also promised you an informal menu. This is as tasty as the formal menus, but it can be essentially prepared in advance and is less costly. (You still get the flowers.)
Champagne- An Informal Menu:
First course: Melon with Prosciutto.
Main course: Bouillabaisse or Beef Stroganoff, served with wide egg noodles
Dessert: Apple tarts or Frozen Grand Marnier Souffle.
Serve a fine French sparkling wine, made as champagne but not from the Champagne region. Try your choice of Albrecht Brut Blanc de Blancs Cremant d’Alsace, or the Albrecht Brut Rose Cremant d’Alsace. You will get kudos for your dinner – and for your latest “champagne” discoveries!
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