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DRINK MORE CHAMPAGNE!

Updated: Jun 1, 2023


(warning: this is certified boujee content haha)

Fabien Caze Rosé Champagne at Sacre Burger

Bonjour! Je suis de retour!


Hi! I am back from France! But trying to keep the language skills going ;)


I have so much to report – so much good food, wine, and memories. This trip was truly a blessing when I needed one. Circumstances leading up to the grand adventure had me ready to enjoy this trip to the fullest, and I did just that!! Believe it or not I am usually less of a glutton than you might imagine (even on vacation), but this time I vowed to eat all the croissants and drink ALL the Champagne (and I think I did a pretty good job)!


And that my friends is my biggest takeaway, we should all be drinking MORE Champagne!! All of the Parisian restaurants we visited had amazing Champagnes available by-the-glass. So of course, I started every lunch and dinner with a glass (or TWO)! Champagne is simply the most perfect way to begin a meal – pretty bubbles priming your palate and versatile enough to go with all first courses!


Of course, this is not a novel idea, but seriously how often are you popping a bottle of bubbly? Surely on birthdays, anniversaries, etc. but how about those other festive occasions – like the long weekends we all manage to snag over the summer?


After six nights in Paris (a true luxury), we headed to Champagne for my first trip there. So obviously, there was even more Champagne to be had. And thus begins the crux of my Champagne propaganda. Here in Champagne (a beautiful region – more on this later), I enjoyed Champagne throughout several meals – so not merely as an aperitif or first course partner but with a wide range of dishes from burgers to octopus to braised beef.


And no, you did not misread this – Champagne & burgers – this faithful readers is going to turn your next cookout on its head. Yes, it’s boujee as hell, and yes you can substitute other bubbly to keep a realistic budget. But if it’s just you and your BFF I encourage you to: A) go out and splurge on a structured rosé Champagne (Laherte Rosé de Munier or Andre Clouet Rosé would both be excellent picks around $60); B) go see your favorite butcher (Ted’s if you live here in Charleston) for well marbled ground beef; C) hit up your favorite cheese shop (Counter Cheese Caves if you live here in Charleston) for an umami laden blue cheese (yes, BLUE)! Then when you’ve got your BFF and a lovely evening ahead: pop your bubbly, caramelize some onions, grill those burgers until mid-rare – adding blue cheese during the last minute to allow appropriate melting, and then serve with toasted brioche buns, the garnish of onions, and smears of dijon mustard and Duke’s mayonnaise!


I had just such a pairing at Sacre Burger in the most historic Champagne city: Reims! And while I am usually a classic burger purist (LTO, mustard, ketchup, Duke’s) this umami bomb was a love fest (even after so many days of indulgence). They happened to be serving glasses of Fabien Cazé’s Jossias Rosé, which is made from 100% Pinot Noir. It’s a beautifully colored and structured rosé with very fine bubbles for scrubbing your palate clean between each decadent bite. To use my favorite cliché – it was heaven!


If Champagne is not in your budget then how about a rosé Cava or Pet Nat (two faves:Avinyo Rosado Cava for around $25 or Marie Thibault’s Loire Valley Pet Nat made from old vine Gamay for around $30.)


Regardless of the exact sparkling rosé, you owe it to yourself to try this pairing – trust me, it’s THAT good!! Santé; cheers; all the things!


P.S. Keep in mind that all rosé including sparkling will be 20% off at our Rosé Fest at the Exchange (the shop I manage) on June 3 – so definitely stock up then if you live in Charleston!


P.P.S. I am so inspired by my recent trip that I will be teaching our very popular Champagne 101 class at the Exchange on Sunday, June 11, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Click here for all the details and to buy tickets online.


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