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Cheers To Champagne

Cheers to Champagne

Champagne is known as the drink of choice for celebrations of all kinds, but this bubbly beverage is so much more than a special occasion sipper. Champagne can be used in all sorts of dishes from risotto to Jell-O and everything in between!

We’ve put together a list of great Champagnes and sparkling wines for the holidays along with some recipe ideas to use with any leftovers you might have. Or if you’re like us, you might just want to buy an extra bottle or two as there’s no such thing as leftover Champagne.

Top 5 Best-Selling Champagnes Brands of 2019

Moët & Chandon

Voted by many as the best Champagne brand in the world, it’s also the best-selling.

Veuve Clicquot

Founded in 1772 in Reims, France, the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne house is one of the largest in the world.

Nicolas Feuillatte

Despite being the best-selling Champagne in France, Nicolas Feuillatte comes in third in the world. Founded in 1976, its rise has been rather fast in the world of Champagne.

G.H. Mumm

Focused on being the go-to for celebrations, Mumm installed Usain Bolt as their chief entertainment officer and has been moving upward at pace.

Laurent Perrier

Laurent-Perrier’s light style has led the way to making Champagne the ideal aperitif drink, and their low-calorie count has made it a favorite amongst fashionistas.

Champagne Recipes

Sparkling Champagne and Strawberries

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp (3 envelopes) unflavored gelatin powder
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups cold Champagne
  • 1 ½ cups cold ginger ale
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the cold water and allow the gelatin to absorb the water for 2 minutes. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and stir until the gelatin is fully dissolved. 
  2. Remove from heat. 
  3. Transfer the gelatin mixture to a bowl, add the sugar, and stir until dissolved. Stir in the Champagne and ginger ale. Refrigerate until thickened. Fold in the strawberries and spoon into 7 to 10 individual molds or a single 7-cup mold. Refrigerate until firm. Unmold and serve.

Champagne Crepes

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup Champagne
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil and melted butter, combined

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and Champagne.
  2. Whisk in flour.
  3. Add salt and butter/oil mixture and then whisk quickly for a few minutes.
  4. Let batter sit for one hour in the refrigerator.
  5. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brush it with remaining butter/oil mixture.
  6. When skillet is hot but not smoking, pour a small amount of batter in to make a thin crepe.
  7. Cook until golden, about 1 minute for first side and 30 seconds for the other side.
  8. Continue with the rest of batter, covering cooked crêpes to keep warm.
  9. Fill or top with sweet or savory toppings.

Oysters, Caviar, and Bubbles

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced shallot (1 small shallot)
  • ½ tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp chilled prosecco
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 12 oysters on the half shell
  • 2 oz hackleback, paddlefish, or tobiko caviar


Directions

  1. Combine the lemon juice, shallots and peppercorns in a small bowl. Let sit in the fridge for about 1 hour to let the flavors marry.
  2. Just before serving, add the prosecco to the sauce and season with a pinch of salt. Spoon the desired amount of the mignonette sauce over the oysters and top each with a dollop of caviar. Serve immediately.

Berry Gratin with Champagne Sabayon

Ingredients

  • 4 handfuls mixed berries
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 Tbsp sparkling wine
  • Zest of half a lemon

Directions

  1. Turn the oven on to grill with the rack about 6 inches/15 cm from the heat. Arrange the berries in individual gratin dishes and set on a baking sheet.
  2. Prepare the Sabayon: Put the egg yolks, sugar, and wine into a roomy glass bowl. Whisk to mix. Set the bowl over a saucepan partly filled with hot, but not simmering, water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water beneath. Whisk until the mixture is frothy, pale, and ribbony, or 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Remove from the water. Whisk in the zest and keep whisking a minute or two to cool slightly. Spoon the sabayon over the berries and place under the grill until the sabayon is bubbly and golden, or 1-2 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve immediately.

Champagne Risotto

Ingredients

  • 4 thin slices prosciutto
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 12 asparagus spears, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
  • 3/4 cup Champagne
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place the slices of prosciutto on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until the prosciutto slices are almost completely crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. The slices will crisp up even more as they cool. Reserve for garnish.
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Blanch the asparagus in the chicken broth for 2 minutes. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon. Set the asparagus aside and keep the broth at a low simmer.
  4. In another medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallot and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat in the butter. Continue toasting the rice, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes more. Add the Champagne and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total.
  6. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the asparagus, remaining butter, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Spoon the risotto into serving dishes and garnish by breaking the crisp prosciutto into smaller pieces over the top of the risotto. Serve immediately.

Spec's

Owned and operated by the same Houston family since 1962, Spec’s is a true destination shopping experience. We now operate over 150 stores all over the great state of Texas and offer a large selection of wines, spirits and finer foods.

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