Champagne & Cheese: Perfect Pairings for Global Champagne Day

As "The Cheese Lady," my foremost passion has always been cheese, but my second love is undeniably champagne. I resonate with Lily Bollinger's famous quote about champagne being a fabulous companion to any occasion*, which could very well have been penned by me.

In anticipation of Global Champagne Day on October 27th, 2023, I'm thrilled to share my top three champagne picks and the perfect cheeses to accompany them.

1. Valentin Leflaive CV17 Blanc de Blancs Champagne

My heart flutters for Blanc de Blancs champagnes, crafted exclusively from 100% Chardonnay grapes. Valentin Leflaive CV 17 50 is an exquisite example, offering a refreshing palate, precision, and a touch of salinity. Its delicate, pale gold hue and complex nose, featuring hints of orange zest and white flowers, create a harmonious balance. On the palate, you'll discover citrus, chalky, buttery, and brioche notes.

Pair this beauty with triple cream cheeses like Delice des Cremiers and Explorateur. These cheeses, akin to brie on the outside, are enriched with double cream or crème fraiche inside, resulting in a buttery decadence that marries impeccably with the champagne's bubbles, rendering the cheeses lusciously moussey on the palate. 

2. Pol Roger Brut Réserve Champagne

Pol Roger Brut Réserve, a favorite of Winston Churchill and the royal family, also graces my selection. Aged to perfection, Pol Roger Brut Réserve is a symphony of flavours and elegance. Its bouquet boasts enchanting notes of pear, mango, and honeysuckle, promising a taste journey like no other. Ripe quince and apricot mingle harmoniously with toasty brioche, creating a captivating tapestry of flavours. This richness finds equilibrium in refreshing acidity, ensuring each sip is a celebration of tradition, craftsmanship, and life's finest moments.

Complement this timeless classic with Alpine cheeses such as Challerhocker or Appenzeller Edel-Wurzig. Crafted from the finest raw milk and matured to unleash their full flavor and aroma potential, these cheeses offer predominantly nutty and toasty notes that harmonize beautifully with Pol Roger Reserve.

3. Billecart-Salmon Rosé Brut Champagne

For an exceptionally exquisite treat, reach for Billecart-Salmon Rosé Brut, renowned as one of the best rosé champagnes on the market today. This family-run Champagne house, established in 1818 and currently managed by the 7th generation, creates a masterpiece with its Brut Rosé. A blend of wines from three separate vintages and three grape varieties—30% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, and 30% Pinot Meunier—unveils a fine, effervescent mousse, along with flavours of peach, pear, raspberry, and citrus zest.

Aged on its lees for 36 months and further matured in the bottle for two to four years, this champagne offers a creamy texture and a lingering raspberry finish. It shines as an aperitif or paired with seafood, sushi, fresh fruit, or a semi-sweet dessert.

To complete the selection for this stunning Brut, consider adding a very gentle and elegant blue cheese like Gorgonzola Dolce. Its luxurious creaminess and delicate, nutty undertones beautifully complement the complexity of bubbly drinks like Billecart-Salmon Rosé.

I hope these recommendations elevate your Global Champagne Day celebration. Enjoy it in style!

The Cheese Lady x
* "I drink champagne when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty."