In fact, any kind of sparkling wine is a perfect aperitif and food partner on any day of the week, for just about any occasion. Just remembered to pay the water bill? Great. Let's have some Champagne . Holiday seasons 2012? That calls for a nice Apero . Just happened to land upon a couple dozen oysters at the market? Might as well open that vintage brut Champagne you've been holding on to for so long in the back fridge ...
Oysters and Champagne a perfect Harmony ...
Why? Because like sparkling wine, oysters take on the flavor of their home. Eating a fresh oyster is like eating the essence of the ocean, la mer. "Wines have terroir, oysters have MERoir," I like to say .. Which is why those "Fine de Claire" in Brittany, France, are just as complexly satisfying as a bottle of vintage Bubbly. It's the perfect marriage, really.
My Oyster tips ...
It's best to eat oysters the day you buy them. But if you can't, store them in a refrigerator with a damp cloth draped over them. Remember, the oysters are living creatures; they shouldn't be submerged in water or left in melted ice or they'll die, and die a lot quicker. If stored correctly, an oyster can live out of water for several weeks, but it's not getting any tastier; it can taste like a wine that's just past its peak. Your best bet is to buy your oysters at an oyster bar or direct from a dealer or oyster farm, and always ask your seller when the oyster was harvested.
A common myth about Champagne is that it's only made from three grapes, but in addition to pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay, there are, in fact, a handful of others that can be used. For instance, : fromenteau, pinot blanc, arbanne and petit meslier, all lost varietals from the Champagne region .. But whatever grapes are used, a very important thing to consider when you're talking about serving Champagne with food is the level of sweetness. All Champagnes aren't the same, and while Champagne is sort of the perfect beverage, your food and bubbly pairing won't be perfect if you don't pay attention.
Happy Holidays to all ... Get the party started!!!
Photography By:Chef Nicholas Anderson for www.culinaryglobetrotter.com