Every now and then, it’s great fun to host (or attend) a champagne tasting. It is really the only way to make spending time with friends even better. You can have a champagne tasting on a budget, I promise. Organize and set a spending limit. Over the years, I have tweaked my process and each event has always turned out to be truly special! Just follow the steps below for a fabulous night:
1. Select the champagne. When hosting, my husband and I typically provide all food and 1-2 bottles. In an invite, we ask that each person contributes 1-2 bottles, and we send a champagne list. Guests, of course, can bring what ever they choose – no need to conform to my list. Here are some reliable brands that are easy to find:
Clicquot | Taittinger | Nicholas Feuillatte | Moet & Chandon | G.H. Mumm | Laurent Perrrier | Perrier Jouet | Duval Leroy | Thierry Triolet |Louis Roederer | Canard-Duchene | Piper-Heidsieck | Bollinger
These bottles range from $30-50. Check out wine-searcher.com to find the best prices in your area. The site also includes tasting notes.
2. Create a menu. Don’t fuss. Don’t overspend. ALL FOOD GOES WITH CHAMPAGNE! SERIOUSLY. Select seasonal fruit, roasted vegetables, cheese, rustic bread with homemade infused olive oil for dipping, and something substantial like homemade mac & cheese. Remember dessert!
3. Into surprises? Do a blind tasting. Create cards with tasting notes and provide them to your guests. You will also want to bag and number the champagne bottles. Set the table, pour the bubbles and enjoy!
4. Play a little game we like to call: “Which one do you think you’re drinking?” Use tasting cards to answer said question. Don’t get down on yourself if your palate fools you – unless you know what “smoked graphite” or “toasty minerals” taste like, you’re bound to hit a wall.
Tell us about your favorite champagne. Cheers!