Sparkling Food Pairings to Ring in the New Year


Champagne, Cava, sparkling wine.  Whatever you're personal taste and budget, ring in the new year with these fun finger food and dessert pairings sure to start 2017 with a bang!

Gougere, delicate bites of baked puff choux pastry with cheese, have to be one of my all time favorite bites with champagne.   Extra Dry and Brut varieties pair nicely with cheese and charcuterie making them the perfect choice for these Chorizo & Manchego Gougere.  (recipe below).

Fat and salt work amazingly well with sparkling wines and champagnes.  Oysters Rockefeller are a classic pairing.  But instead of raw try fried oysters with a Blanc de Blanc.  Made with Chardonnay grapes its also a good match for sushi and other seafood items.  Blanc de Noir, made with Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier grapes pairs nicely with the earthy taste of fried mushrooms and the sweet and smoky flavors of bacon-wrapped dates.  Spicy bites like hot sopressata or chicken satay are best paired with a sparkling rose. 

Saving the bubbles for midnight?  Look for a demi-sec, which is on the sweeter side and pairs well with fruit and desserts.  Add frozen blackberries to the bottom of your flute for a festive toast.  Serve with your favorite chocolate truffles, chocolate dipped strawberries or chocolate anything.  Remember, there are plenty of "rules" for pairings but the bottom line is do what tastes good to you.  It's your celebration after all.  Cheers to you and a Happy New Year too!

Chorizo & Manchego Gougere

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
8 Tbsp butter cut into pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup flour
4 eggs
1 cup shredded Manchego cheese
1/2 cup dried chorizo sausage, minced
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.  Combine water, milk, butter, salt and smoked paprika in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil. Add flour and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the pans.  Stir two more minutes to cook flour through.  Remove from heat and make a well in the center of the dough.  Add eggs one at a time stirring vigorously until egg is incorporated into the dough and the mix is smooth.  Repeat with remaining eggs.  Add the cheese, chorizo and pepper to taste.  Pipe or scoop tablespoon size mounds of dough onto the baking sheets spacing 2" apart.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.  Serve hot or at room temperature.