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Champagne Brunch or Should We Serve Wine? What to Serve at a Brunch Party.

Brunch’s can vary per person’s taste, it could include delicious sticky-sweet pancakes, spicy Mexican chilaquiles, or grilled steak with poached eggs. Whichever direction you favor, brunch is a leisurely meal and the perfect opportunity to pour a glass of Champagne or share a bottle of wine with friends. These pairings cover a number of brunch dishes and styles you’re likely to encounter on weekends.
Croissants, Muffins, Coffee Cake
Serve Champagne
Because buttery pastries and quick breads deserve a bubbly with some of the complex, yeast-biscuit notes one finds in distinguished Champagnes. We like
Moet & Chandon White Star ($35), an elegant sip and yet not so esteemed that dressing it down with a splash or two of fresh blood-orange juice would be out of the question.

A Brunch Featuring Lots of Bacon

Serve Chardonnay
Because Chardonnay aged gently in oak has expressions of butterscotch and vanilla that play off the salty-smoky jolt of good bacon. We like
Childress Vineyards‘ 2005 Barrel Select Chardonnay ($15), which is buttery but lively and refreshing.

Steak and Eggs

Serve Merlot
Because if there were a comfort wine, it would be soft, velvety, easy-drinking merlot. It fits the most classic and indulgent of comfort proteins, steak and eggs, like a glove. We like
Gundlach Bundschu‘s 2004 merlot from Sonoma’s Rhinefarm Vineyard ($30), which has flavors of black cherry, green pepper, and minerals balanced on a spine of acidity.

Southern-Style Ham Steak with Redeye Gravy

Serve White Rioja
Because the light, sweet-tart playfulness of the grape Viura (from which most white Riojas are made or blended) is just right for the salt and smoke of a good ham and for the nutty, tannic quality of a redeye gravy made with strong coffee. We like the Rioja Blanco 2006 ($8) produced by Marques de Caceres. Its bright notes of green apple and ripe peach add a distinct, sunny dimension to this darkly savory dish.

Classic English Fry-Up

Serve Australian Rhone-Style Blend
Because the disparate elements on the plate of a classic fry-up — streaky bacon, potatoes, roasted tomatoes, and kidneys — call for a wine that brings them together, one with jammy-berry fruit flavors and an earthy undertone. We like
Rosemount Estate GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) 2003 McLaren Vale ($25). It has just the right amount of spice to add nuance to the black fruit and vanilla, as well as a robust, attention-grabbing texture.

Huevos Rancheros or Chilaquiles

Serve Beaujolais (Chilled)
Because the heat of chiles, coupled with the mellow flavors of corn tortilla and egg, typify brunches inspired by Mexican or Southwestern dishes. The red-berry juiciness of the Gamay grape draws out the fruitiness in chiles, while the chilled wine cools their heat. We like the plummy, black-peppery palate of Michel Tete’s 2005 Julienas from Domaine du Clos du Fief ($21), which offers a knockout match.

Sausage and Peppers

Serve Moscato d’Asti
Because sausage and Moscato d’Asti is a classic pairing, and for good reason. The riot of seasonings in a good sausage — fennel seed, crushed red pepper, garlic — call for Moscato’s fragrant, peach-nectar flavors, which refresh the palate with every sip. We like
Marchesi di Gresys 2006 La Serra Moscato d’Asti ($16), with its honeyed, nutty nuances.

Smoked Salmon

Serve Dry Hungarian Furmint
Because the dry white wines made from Furmint, a grape typically used in the dessert wine Tokaji Aszu, have a bracing lemon character that’s like a squeeze of juice on smoked salmon. It balances the richly smoky, salty sensations of the fish. We like the
Royal Tokaji Wine Company’s 2005 Furmint ($14) because it has a firm lemon-lime character on the palate and aromas of green herbs, which conjure the dill and chives that typically garnish smoked salmon.

French Toast or Pancakes with Toppings

Serve Italian Prosecco
Because its dry citrus flavors and lively effervescence are the perfect foil for the thick, sweet toppings, such as maple syrup and honey, that are often drizzled on these brunch mainstays. But Prosecco is equally suited to pancake and French toast partners that possess more acidity and fruit flavor, such as apple, rhubarb, or currant compotes. We like brisk, fizzy
Zardetto Prosecco di Conegliano Brut NV ($11), which has appetizing, complementary aromas of bread dough and apples.

Frittatas, Omelets, Quiches, Other Egg Dishes

Serve German Riesling
Because eggs are notoriously challenging to pair, but the gently sweet, round, and sometimes resinous flavors in Riesling give focus to the shyness of eggs and to the medley of vegetables — onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, and bell peppers — that commonly appears in these dishes. We like the flavors in
Robert Weil’s dry Riesling from the Rheingau (2006, $30) for their fruit and mineral tones — think star fruit and seltzer.Without a doubt your guests will not only enjoy the delicious brunch you are
serving, but they will also love the wine pairing!

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Easy Sweet Pink Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

You will be amazed how easy this recipe is!  Its bubbly, sweet, beautiful and super easy.  After all we are talking about Champagne musts, a delicious strawberry dessert with Champagne, hello! Must I say more?  This recipe will be on your top 10 must have cupcakes!

Sweet Pink Strawberry Champagne Cupcake Recipe

  • 1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® strawberry cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups champagne, (I used a Red Sparkling Wine – Cinzano Brachetto d’Acqui) it will compliment the fruity strawberry flavor.
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 egg whites
Champagne Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup champagne
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 to 5 drops red food coloring
Garnish
Pink decorator sugar crystals
Edible pink pearls
Directions:
  • Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
  • In large bowl, combine dry cake mix and champagne. Add oil, eggs.  Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
  • Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  • In medium bowl, beat frosting ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with pink sugar or pearls.

Champagne is a sparkling wine, and while many expensive champagnes are available, this is one time you might choose less expensive champagne. Have the champagne at room temperature when preparing the cake.

For pink decorator sugar crystals, edible pink pearls and decorative cupcake lines, check out Fancy Flours.

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Easy to Build Champagne Tower

Are you looking for a simple & easy stunning idea for your party? Try a fabulous Champagne tower. Here’s a Champagne tip on how to recreate one for your special bubbly event.
How to build a Champagne Tower:
1. Start with a firm, solid base for your tower (a separate table is best, with spillage tray at the base or underneath to catch any overflow.)
2. Always use coupe Champagne glasses (retro rounded saucer cups), not flutes. All of the coupe glasses in the tower should be identical. Most party rental places will have coupe glasses on hand for weddings or events.
3. The tower is essentially made up of successively smaller layers of squares. For example, if the bottom layer is 10 glasses by 10 glasses, the layer above that would be nine by nine, the layer above that eight by eight, and so on.
4. Make sure each glass touches the surrounding glasses. When done right, you’ll see a diamond-shaped gap between each glass.
5. When building the next layer, center the stem of the glass over the diamond openings that were created by the layer below. Gingerly fill in the layer with glasses.
6. Repeat this assembly process until there is a single coupe glass on top.
7. Once fully assembled, begin slowly pouring Champagne from the the top glass and it will trickle downward. Larger-size Champagne bottles or magnums work best here.
8. If you’re using the tower for decorative purposes only, assemble and fill with Champagne before the celebration. Then have trays filled with fresh Champagne at the base or passed to your guests.

Be ready to WOW your guests as they view your featured Champagne Tower!

Do you have any other creative Champagne Party ideas you would like to share with us?  Please post a comment below and share the bubbly love.

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3 Sexy New Champagne Drinks For The Summer

Three words:  Summer is hot. That’s why you need a  cool drink to help chill you out during the sweltering temps of late August. And what better drink than the most bubbliest chilled one of them all to help you? We’ve asked one of LA’s most charming bartenders, John Harpster (aka “Johnny Shotz”) from the X-Bar Century Plaza Hotel to offer some made-for-Summer-champagne recipes. The results? Tasty and tempting and thrilling all in the form of fluted glassware. Mmm…

1. Royal Grey

Talk about a drink, made for a Summer queen. Mixing elderflower with some juices the color of hot summer blush, this one should come with a personal pool boy to fan me down while I’m at it 😉


1/2 oz of St. Germain;
1/2 oz of fresh Ruby Red grapefruit juice;
Top off with some great-tasting Rose, such as Piper-Hiedsieck‘s Rose Sauvage.

2. The Cupid Cocktail

Who said chocolate covered strawberries can’t be enjoyed in liquid form? Introducing a very smooth rendition of the most orgasmic dessert ever. Umm, can I have about about a dozen of these?

1/2 oz white creme de cacao
1/2 oz Chambord
Top off with some Tete de Cuvee
(*John suggests Cristal, for those extra special occasions)
And serve with chocolate covered strawberries…

3. Smoke & Bubbles

If you can’t fight the heat, make some of your own. After all, some like it hot…

Swirl a drizzle of Laphroig or Lagavulin Scotch in glass
1/2 oz Liquour 43
Top with Champagne
Good if enjoyed with a mild cigar…

Whew, why am I not buzzed yet from just writing about these bubbly wonders? Definitely can’t wait to try them out this Summer!

Now if you think our personal mixologist Johnny Shotz delivered some potent potions for your Summer time drink options, be sure to vote for him as one of LA’s Best Bartender from Table 20:

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French Ginger Ale Cocktail Recipe

FRENCH GINGER ALE COCKTAIL RECIPE

  • 1 1/2 oz CHAMBORD Flavored Vodka
  • 3 oz Ginger Ale

Pour vodka into an ice-filled glass and top with ginger ale.  Garnish with a piece of crystalized ginger and a black raspberry.

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French Sparkle Chambord Cocktail Recipe

FRENCH SPARKLE Cocktail Recipe

Shake vodka and mango nectar with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.  Top with Champagne.  Finish with a mango slice and a black raspberry.

Delicious!

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Chambord Flavored Vodka & Club Soda Cocktail Recipe

You can smell the berries from here & it’s delicious.  Try this natural black raspberry that meets french vodka cocktail recipe.

CHAMBORD Flavored Vodka & Club Soda

  • 1 1/2 oz CHAMBORD flavored vodka
  • 3 oz Club Soda

Pour vodka into a glass filled with ice and top with club soda.  Garnish with a lemon wedge and a black raspberry.

Cheers!

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How to Pour Champagne

If you are only serving a few glasses of Champagne, it is easiest to tilt the glass first, as you would when pouring a beer, so that when you pour it, the glass doesn’t overflow with froth.  But if you are pouring Champagne for a big party, it is best to first pour a little of bubbly into each glass, to fill by one-third; then as soon as the froth has died down, top up the glasses.  If it looks as if the foam will shoot over the top of the glass, quickly put your finger in the middle of the foam or dip the end of a teaspoon handle in the middle.

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How to Chill Champagne

Champagne always tastes best well chilled, but the exact temperature for chilling is a matter of personal taste.  Three to four hours in the refrigerator is fine, or if you are caught unprepared, a 30 minute blast in the freezer will do the trick.  A word of cautionary advice; don’t forget about the bottle in the freezer – if the bubbles freeze, the cork will shoot out and quite possibly the bottle will explode – I know, I’ve done it!  If you are using an ice bucket, ice mixed with water will cool the bubbles much faster than ice alone.  Chilling Champagne helps reduce the pressure inside the bottle so that it is easier and safer to open, and there’s no wastage.

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Bubbly Baked Peaches

Fresh, juicy peaches baked in delicious Champagne are a winning combination.  They taste even better the next day when the flavors have fully developed.

  • 4 large, ripe peaches
  • 1/2 cup almond ratafia biscuits, crushed
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sweet butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 2/3 cup demi-sec Champagne, such as Louis Roederer Riche NV
  • light whipping cream, whipped, to serve

Serves 4 or 8

Cut the peaches in half and remove and discard the stones.  Using a teaspoon , scoop out some of the flesh from the cavity in the peaches, then coarsely chop the bits.  Put the chopped peaches, crushed ratafia biscuits, chopped almonds, and sugar in a bowl and mix well.

Put the peach halves in a lightly buttered, shallow baking dish and fill the hollowed-out centers with the almond and peach mixture.  Dot the tops with butter and pour the fizz over.

Bake, uncovered, in a preheated oven at 350F for 35-40 minutes, until the peaches are soft and tender, but still retain their shape, and the liquid has become syrupy.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.  Serve warm, with a little of the syrup spooned over and lashings of whipped cream.  Alternatively, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight for the flavors to fully develop.  Remove the chilled peaches from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving with the syrup and cream.