Everyday Celebration with Champagne and Curried Shrimp Salad #Winophiles
The Winophiles Are Always Happy for Champagne
Is it possible to have too much Champagne? The #Winophiles say NO! We’re always happy to dive into that fabled region. This month we’re coming back to celebrate the region, the wines, and the foods to enjoy with Champagne. Take a look farther down in this post for some great advice from my fellow Winophiles.
Vignerons Independant Champagne – Copinet Marie
I first became acquainted with Champagne Copinet Marie at the Vignerons Independant Salon in Lyon last fall. There are literally hundreds of small producers at the fair, so you need some type of strategy. My son Peter (hey, he’s 25) and I decided to concentrate on Champagne, so we spent the afternoon wandering from Champagne booth to Champagne booth before picking our favorites. The Champagne producers are all located at corner booths so they can service two sides for tasting – very smart because the French love their Champagne!
I’m a fan of the Vignerons Indépendants because they represent the little guys, the independent family winegrowers. The association’s most important parts of their charter stipulate that all members must:
- Respect their terroir
- Work and harvest their own vineyard
- Make the wine themselves
- Bottle their wine themselves
- Keep viticultural traditions
Importantly, you can find Vignerons Indépendants wines in the US, just look for their symbol on the label. For a Champagne producer, the Vignerons Indépendants rules mean the wine will be a Grower Champagne.
Champagne Copinet Marie
Recently passed down from father to daughter, Champagne Copinet Marie is a Récoltants Manipulant, a Grower Champagne House. The family originally sold their grapes to one of the Marquee houses, but in recent years they decided to strike out on their own. The vineyards and winery are located in the village of Montgenost (population 140). Their vineyards are certified by Terra Vitis, and no herbicides or pesticides are used. In the winery, they use concrete and stainless steel containers for fermentation and aging to preserve the bright freshness in the wines. Dosage is at the low end for Brut at 6-7 g/l. Only 5,500 cases total annual production.
“They make their own wines, harvested from their own vines from their own land.”
Champagne Copinet Marie Blanc de Blancs (€24 at the Salon des Vins des Vignerons Independants in Lyon)
Eye: Clear, medium- lemon yellow with a pretty, fine mousse
Nose: Clean, initial impression is lemons and white flowers, very crisp and clean, not too yeasty.
Mouth: Dry, high acidity, a bit stony/steely. Acidity is balanced by just the right amount of sweetness. Not at all sweet, just elegant and nicely balanced.
Blanc de Blancs Champagne means “white from white”, which is to say the Champagne is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. Blanc de Noirs is “white from black”, which means no Chardonnay, the wine is made from Pinot Noir and Meunier, both are red (“black”) grapes. I especially love Blanc de Blancs Champagnes as they often emphasize elegance and a light, delicate body over more full bodied Champagnes featuring all three grapes or even concentrating on the red grapes.
My first surprise this month came when I removed the foil from the bottle of Champagne we had chosen for dinner. “De la terre au plaisir” what a sweet message!
Wine Pairing – Curried Shrimp Salad with Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Champagne is top of mind for celebrations, but too often it isn’t considered as a great table wine. Maybe you’ll give it a try! I’m a big fan of Blanc de Blancs Champagnes in general, especially when I can enjoy them with a light seafood dish. Scallops and shrimp prepared in a light, zesty sauce or dressing would be perfect. When I was looking for a nice dish, Julie pointed out a great looking curried shrimp salad recipe billed as a winter dish. Luckily, March in Minnesota is definitely winter!
With just a bit of chopping and prep, the dinner salad came together quickly, and curry on the shrimp added a bit of exotic flavor. While not exactly spicy, the salad was so nice with the balanced acidity and just a hint of sweetness in the Champagne. If you’ve never had Champagne as your table wine, this would be a wonderful place to start.
The recipe comes from Fine Cooking Magazine: Winter Salad with Curried Shrimp, Apples and Cashews
French #Winophiles 2017 Champagne Exploration
To a Winophile, Champagne is…
…crafted uniquely, from start to finish, as Lynn from Savor the Harvest reveals in her post, French #Winophiles Explore Champagne From Beginning to Bubbly Finish.
…dynamic and constantly refreshed, as Jane from Always Ravenous examines in her story, The Evolving Culture of Champagne .
…always enchanting, unfailingly attractive. Lauren from The Swirling Dervish writes about The Enduring Allure of Champagne.
…consistent and timelessly refined. Camilla from Culinary Adventures of Camilla shares a special perspective in her piece, Toasting Seventeen Years with Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne.
…personal and skilled, as we will learn in the story of Women in Wine: Floriane Eznack, Cellar Master, Champagne Jacquart from Gwendolyn at Wine Predator.
…food-friendly, approachable and versatile, as we’ll learn from Jeff at FoodWineClick! in his story Everyday Celebration with Champagne and Curried Shrimp Salad.
…affordable and surprisingly accessible, revealed as Martin from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog answers the question Under $30 Vintage Champagne? Oui!
…worth fighting for, as Jill from l’Occasion learned from the story of Bernard de Nonancourt of Laurent-Perrier: Champagne Résistance Fighter.
Brunch mimosas are in order (for those in Europe, a simple glass of Champagne is your prescription) as we collect ourselves on twitter on Saturday morning, March 18th at 10:00am central (time conversion here). Your invitation is the hashtag #Winophiles.