Learn the basics for pairing your next glass of champagne with the perfect bite
As part of Searsucker Del Mar’s preparation for the September Searsupper Club with Veuve Clicquot, the team had to learn a great deal about how to differentiate between different styles of bubbly, and what flavors they pair best with.
Red wine? We’ve got a tomahawk that will impress your taste buds and your friends. More of a white fan? Let us serve you a melt-in-your-mouth seared tuna. But what will we choose to prepare when all five courses will be paired with different styles of bubbly? Let’s dive in…
First up: Veuve Clicquot Rich
This champagne was designed specifically for mixing light, refreshing, effervescent cocktails. Our expert mixologists crafted their perfect serve to kick off our Searsupper dinner, but there are plenty of ways play with ingredients to make this rich cocktail your own:
To balance out the strong fruit notes in the champagne, Executive Chef Cesar Oceguera will be serving oysters dipped in XO consomme, topped with a champagne + vanilla air.
Course 2: Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label
The most familiar label in the Veuve family–perhaps even across most champagnes, is the Yellow Label.
To let the perfect balance of forcefulness and finesse so trademarked by this label shine, Chef Cesar keeps the flavor pairing light and simple: A refreshing watermelon ceviche with fresh scallop and calamari.
Course 3: Veuve Clicquot Rosé
The House of Veuve has been preaching Rosé All Day since 1775, when they were the first champagne house to commercialize this blend.
A champagne with luminous pink glints must be served with a dish equally as attractive. This label is known to pair best with seafood and a bit of smokiness, so in classic Searsucker style, Chef Cesar brought in a bit of his roots: Seared Huachinango, which is a Mexican fish similar to red snapper, served with sweet corn, torn chorizo bread and mushrooms.
Course 4: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006
La Grande Dame was originally created in 1972 to celebrate the bicentenary of the House, intended to be a tribute to Madame Clicquot who was often referred to as ‘La Grande Dame de la Champagne’. For this blend, Veuve Clicquot selects wines with the highest finesse, the most elegant freshness on the mouth, and tremendous length.
Such an esteemed label needs to be paired with a dish just as decadent and royal–particularly beautiful poultry and ripe stone fruits. To pair perfectly with the floral notes of Le Grande Dame, Chef Cesar prepares a lavender glazed duck breast with confit fennel and grilled peaches.
Course 5: Veuve Clicquot Demi Sec
Designed to meet the preference of the late 18- to early 1900’s preference for sweeter champagne, this cuvée’s gentle acidity, freshness and delicacy are the perfect ending to an evening of decadence.
With its equilibrium tending towards sweetness and fruited flavors, the Demi Sec goes particularly well with desserts that feature pastry, fruits, cinnamon and pralines. This label is the most “classical” of the House’s champagnes, so what better to serve it with than a play on the classic champagne pairing: Fruit & Cheese. Corporate Pastry Chef Becky Kastelz puts her spin on this iconic pairing with a Fromage Blanc Tart, brandy-poached apples, cinnamon almonds.
Et Voilà! Our recommendations for the perfect bites to pair with your next bottle of bubbly. Cheers!