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How to Pair Champagne With Food For New Years

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One of the most fun aspects of New Years Eve (especially for us foodies!) is enjoying champagne, a drink reserved for only the most festive occasions. Champagne is a symbol of both the sweetness of the memories of the previous year and a welcoming in of the good times that will come with 2015.

While many of us are accustomed to pairing wines with food, the rarity with which most of us enjoy champagne means that it’s sometimes hard to know what foods go well with champagne. These simple yet impressive choices are sure to please your New Years Eve guests.

Savory

When you need a savory hors d’oeuvre to go with your New Years toast, choose something warm and rich to go with the cooler weather. Some ideas include:

  • Mini-quiches. This warm, rich appetizer is popular this time of year because it is filling and versatile. Try offering your guests several different flavors with ingredients that further enhance the flavor of the champagne such as sharp cheddar, basil, sausage, or scallions.
  • Fruit and nut plate. This is a great option if you prefer to keep it simple. It also satisfies the taste buds both of guests looking for something savory and those looking for something sweet. Take advantage of the time of year with some wintry nuts such as walnuts, chestnuts, and pecans.
  • No pairing list is complete without cheese. Choose flavorful, full cheeses such as brie, gouda, or gruyere.
  • Creamy dips. A creamy baked artichoke dip fits nicely with champagne. Plus, it’s always a hit with guests!
  • Fish is a natural complement to light, crisp wines, so it is perfect for pairing with champagne. Choose a flaky, warm, heavier white fish for best results. If your event has the budget, spring for a nice slice of fresh tuna.

Sweet

For sweet options, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. While some desserts are best as a keynote of your food offerings (such as fondue), others are great in combination so that you can provide a couple of different options. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Chocolate fondue. Fondue is a guest favorite because it’s fun and participatory. Champagne is perfect with chocolate covered strawberries, bananas, pound cake, or angel food cake.
  • Lemon or lime tart, cake, or pie. The crispness of the citrus combined with the sweet bubbles of champagne make a heavenly pair. A citrus sweet is also a good candidate for a gluten-free option if your guest list require one.
  • Rhubarb pie. This classic holiday dessert has long been considered by experts to perfectly compliment champagne.
  • Persimmons are delicious frozen or baked into a dessert. They are traditionally eaten around the holidays, and they’re also in season.
  • Cobbler and vanilla ice cream. Bake some blackberry, blueberry, or apple cobbler to enjoy with your beverage.

Ring in the New Year right with a diverse and festive menu to perfectly complement the festive occasion. And whatever you do, don’t run out of champagne!

Image via Flickr user aloha75.