Now that the grilling season is well under way, your BBQ has been cleaned, tested and readied for some serious outdoor cooking, your favorite recipes updated for the current trends, tested on family and proven worthy of company, it’s time to invite the gang and have them over for a fun evening of mouthwatering food, delicious wines, original drinks and decadent desserts…
But what about the aperitif?
For the past few seasons it’s been light, refreshing whites or any one of numerous summer cocktails. This season you are going to make a radical change. You are going to offer Champagne instead!
Yes, Champagne. Long thought of as wines suitable only for fine gala events or momentous occasions, attitudes have changed over the past few years and Champagne and other sparkling wines have found their way into everyday situations.
On my visits to Europe, more often than not, Champagnes, Cavas or Proseccos have taken the place of aperitifs such as Campari or Cynar.
To greet your guests with a glass of Champagne makes a strong statement that you are genuinely happy to have them over for company. It’s fun, it’s fizzy and comes with a personality of spontaneity that makes it the perfect choice as opener for your BBQ party.
Here are some possibilities:
Veuve Clicquot Brut, (LCBO 563338), $ 69.30
Light honey colour, fine bubbles, elegant mousse; ripe stewed orchard fruit, fresh baked bread, toasty, citrus and mineral notes. Dry, balanced acidity, tart apple and cirtus flavours on the palate with a persistent finish. Complex and delicious.
Pol Roger Brut Cuvee Reserve, (LCBO 51953), $ 56.70
Bright medium yellow/gold, fine bubbles and persistent mousse; fruity, baked yellow apples, leesy, chalky notes. Dry, bright acidity, rich body of fruit and good balance with a long finish. Elegant and sophisticated.
Villa Sandi CuvÃ©e Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene, (LCBO 738542), $ 18.95
Pale yellow with glints of green, fine bubbles of lazy activity and medium mousse; opens shy but develops blossomy, fruity, candy notes; Dry, with medium acidity and apple and pear flavours on a medium bodied palate.
Codorniu Brut Clasico, (LCBO 6262), $ 12.40
Pale yellow/gold, medium bubble and fine mousse, fresh apple, pear and citrus notes. Dry, medium acidity with green apple and citrus play on the palate and a refreshing finish.