For a wedding gift from one of our friends, we got a bottle of Cristal. My husband hates champagne (Even Cristal, which is odd for a man who quotes 2Pac and Biggie at the most inopportune times.). So because he won’t drink it, I have decided that I am going to throw a super fabulous party for my friends. And I was thinking, what to serve with the champagne?

It took me no time to figure it out. Champagne and super fatty cheeses work well together. The bubbles in the wine cut the fat in the cheese, and it all works together in your mouth. You get a mouthful of a cheese that coats the tongue, and then a clean follow-up of a sparkling wine. I was thinking we could serve this as a light appetizer before a rich dinner — something small to get the conversation started.

I found two cheeses to star in this story. Both of these cheeses you can get online at either Murray’s or Artisinal.

Fromager d’Affinois (Cow, France): This is a mass-produced cheese, but a good one! It’s similar to brie in that it’s smooth and creamy, but the consistency isn’t formed by aging, it’s formed by mechanical ultra-filtration. The texture is super creamy, light and slightly salty. It’s a fake triple crème, because a machine makes the texture. But it’s a good enough fake to trick you. Like in Chinatown – the fakes are pretty convincing, until you see the zipper. But if you pair it with some fierce heels, you can’t tell. (For the record, I work in fashion/beauty, and I do not advocate purchasing fakes. Seriously, it’s lame. Just save your money.)

Pierre-Robert (Cow, France): This is a triple crème cheese that is buttery and smooth. Literally it tastes like butter!! The cheese is slightly salty with a mild flavor and creamy texture. I could eat an entire wheel. It’s very spreadable and is amazing with a sweet accompaniment, like honey or a cherry compote.

For the wine, look to a sparkling wine that isn’t too sugary. Prosecco could work. A dry champagne could work. Brachetto will not work.

Perfect to serve with this? Gougères and parmesan crisps. I’ll post the recipes on Friday!


~ Dana