Sunday, March 1, 2009

Champagne Tasting

I got the inspiration for this idea while Husband and I were in Hotlanta for a wedding last weekend (congrats Mr. and Mrs. Simmons!). It was fabulous, though we expected nothing less—the bride has exquisite taste. Upon arriving at the reception we chose our priorities carefully-drink first, food later. I wasn’t really in the mood for wine (shocking, I know) so I opted for some champagne. (Also, the champagne glasses were gorgeous—I always notice great glassware. It might be because I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with china/glassware/entertaining pieces, but whatever). Disclaimer: the photo below is not actually from this wedding. I was not clever enough to think about photographing said gorgeous glass and posting it on my blog, so I'm using an image from my own wedding to get the idea across). =)

Anyway, there’s something about being dressed up and sipping some bubbly that makes me want to walk around humming “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story (and by “want”, I mean “did”). In any case, my friend Claire declared my beverage of choice “swanky” and pretty soon several of my girlfriends were sipping champagne and humming Broadway show tunes (ok, I’m kidding about that last part). I have to admit, I was a teensy bit impressed with myself. I’ve never really started a trend before! But more than that, I never really noticed that we liked champagne all that much. Maybe it was just the occasion, maybe it was the atmosphere (stop me before I break out in “Maybe it was Memphis”), but I decided that for our next “Girls Night In” we’d trade our wine and cheese stand-by for something just as simple but slightly more sophisticated—a champagne tasting.

Now when I say “tasting” I don’t mean let’s go buy a $4 bottle of Andre and a $50+ bottle of Veuve Clicquot and see which one we like better. I don’t know a lot about champagne but I’m pretty sure the general consensus is that the more expensive the bottle, the better it tastes. With this economy, just give me the cheap stuff. Ignorance is bliss, right?

Instead, I’m thinking of something more like a Champagne Bar, where you can mix and match different flavors to make your champagne cocktail of choice.


1. Champagne—I’d go with something mid-priced, such as Korbel. Brut is the most common level of dryness, but you can also try an Extra Brut (very dry) or Extra Dry (hint of sweetness) and let your guests decide how sweet they like it. And yes, the names confuse me too.

2. Mixers—Orange juice for Mimosas, Peach Schnapps for a Bellini, Pomegranate juice for a Pomelini—you get the idea.

3. Garnishes—Fresh fruit always adds a little “something”. I like to use strawberries, raspberries and peaches.

4. Snacks—I prefer sweets with my champagne, but real food works too. Some easy and yummy ideas are chocolate-dipped strawberries, mini cheesecakes or my personal favorite—cake bites from Pastry Art in Homewood. They are DIVINE (I’d go with the Red Velvet or Caramel—but that’s just me!!).