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Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Twelfth Night, Candlemas. Winter is a time of indulgence, a time of festive fare and traditional culinary delights, intimate family reunions and evenings, with friends round the dinner table. It is a time for staying snug by the fireside and enjoying the gorgeous desserts that go with the season
There are as many recipes as there are ingredients. The cornucopia of fruit ranges from crisp white apples and melt-in-the-mouth pears to more exotic fruit such as citrus, pineapple, bananas and coconut. There are crystallised fruits and nuts in abundance (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pine nuts) and sugar with which to confection your heart‘s desire; sugar cane, sugar syrup, icing, granulated and caster sugar whisked into frostings and soufflés, crystallised or liquefied into golden caramel. There are wonderful combinations based on honey, praline, liquorice, spices and chocolate.
When it comes to desserts, the list of possibilities is endless — and perfectly in tune with the fabulous range of Champagne wines. Choose your type of Champagne and create new harmonies of flavours, tastes and textures to suit. Conjure up rnagical moments and atmospheres, bathed in the rosy hue of intensely aromatic desserts with moist, creamy textures and crisp, crunchy toppings. Choose fleshy, powerful, robust Champagne wines, of the kind that are long in the palate and a sure remedy for Winter blues.
Be discerning when deciding which Champagne to serve with your winter dessert. The choice is a very delicate one because of the rich flavours and complex textures involved.
Tarts and other puddings such as crumbles (apple, rhubarb, quince, pineapple, plums and pears) that combine the fresh, fleshiness of fruit with the moist, biscuity or crispy texture of sweet flan pastry, shortcrust and flaky pastry.
These desserts go best with fleshy, round Champagne that with a few years‘ ageing will bring forth the character of the grape varieties and terroirs from which it originate. Choose vintage or already quite mature blanc de noirs Champagne or one made predominantly from black grape varieties, Pinot noir and/or meunier, either white or rosé.
Champagne goes best with desserts that bring out the natural flavours of their ingredients.
Weddings, Saint Valentine’s Day, engagement celebrations, heavenly, memorable moments specially made for lovers. Dates for delicious tête-à-tête with Champagne and a few well-chosen dishes.
The apéritif sets the tone and should be fresher than what comes next. Create a universe suffused with the soft floral notes of lilac, lily of the valley and acacia - notes typical of a vintage blanc de blancs Champagne that allies freshness of composition with the richness of a long period of ageing on lees.
Continue in exploratory mode with a gratinée of oysters or a feuilleté of scallops to take further along the path of sensory discovery. Savour the perfect fusion of the salty, mineral taste of iodine and the creamy, melt-in-the-mouth texture. Note how the flavours have grown more pronounced.
The Champagne becomes more expressive by degrees. Freshness is replaced by a reassuring fullness and incomparable skillness that echo to perfection the opulent richness of the dishes. New aromas arise as mellifluence gradually turns into soft sensations of hazelnuts and almonds.