Champagne – A New Year Tradition

Champagne's History - The New Years TraditionWhen buying a bottle of , if the label says from “Champagne, “,“methode traditionelle”, or “Méthode Champenoise”, the wine is in fact truly a “Champagne“. All other wines are “Sparkling Wine”. While this does sound somewhat snobbish and aristocratic, it does serve a good purpose in protecting the brand of the area. Another example of this type of “rule” that you may be more familiar with is the Vidalia Onion, which you can easily cook with champagne, or sparkling wine, to create some great hors d’oeuvres for this .

You have to check out these Champagne Onion recipes we found over at The Gilded Fork. I’m going to make them tomorrow, and have a good idea at the different flavors I can create by using different combinations of sparkling wine and onions. I figured we would make these 3

  • Sweet Vidalia Champagne Onions” – This will make a great chip dip. We’ll cook the onions and some freshly minced garlic in Andre Blush Pink Champagne (a $4 bottle of delicious sparkling rose), and then add sour cream, chives, fresh ground pepper, and some sour cream and dip mix.
  • “Purple Champagne Onions” – We’ll cook the onions with Hardys or Leasingham (both are a sweet sparkling Shiraz from Australia) or Leasingham then mix with cream cheese, and maybe a little roasted red pepper for spice. Put some sun-dried tomatoes and smoked salmon on a piece of toasted baguette along with a dollop of our extremely colorful sauce, maybe even garnish with a sprinkle of green onion.
  • “Champagne Braised Cipollini Onions” – This recipe got me thinking about an entrée , like this beef tenderloin. We’ll cook the onions using Freixenet Spumante (a fruity, dry Cava from Spain) or Mionetto Prosecco Brut (a light Italian Prosecco), then slice them thinly and pour the reduced sauce over them. We’ll either cook a small tenderloin, or grill a filet, then thinly slice it; make sure you let it for 5-10 min. before slicing so it stays tender and moist. On each slice, place some onion sauce and horseradish cream (horseradish and sour cream). If I have a hard time finding Cipollini Onions, I’m sure the Vidalias would also work great.

Most people will go out this season and buy bottles of Andre and Cook’s, both from California, which are a great and inexpensive way to bring in the New Year. The Cava, Prosecco, and Sparkling Shiraz mentioned in the recipes are also great imported wines for toasting a New Year, plus I don’t think any of them are over $20.

So go out during the Holidays and buy any bottle of Champagne or Sparkling White Wine, pop the if you feel the need because whatever you find enjoyable whether it be a loud or soft pop, is your preference. If hanging out with a cultured crowd the flamboyant procedure might not be advised. Sit back and let the bubbles tickle your throat and get jazzed about a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Quick Lesson: Champagne is a wine region in France located about 100 miles east of Paris. It is legally divided into 5 wine producing ‘districts’: the Aube, Côte des Blancs, Côte de Sézanne, Montagne de Reims, and Vallée de la Marne. Champagne/Sparkling Wine is generally marked as Extra Brut, Brut, Extra dry, Sec and Demi-sec, depending on how sweet they are. Extra bruit is extremely dry, while demi-sec is the sweetest.

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