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TIP OF THE DAY: A Cocktail Or Dessert Of Champagne & Sorbet

Add the right fruit sorbet to the right
sparkling wine: delicious! Photo courtesy
Domaine Chandon.

 

September is California Wine Month. The first sustained California vineyard was planted in 1779 by Franciscan missionaries, at Mission San Juan Capistrano (in southern California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego). The first documented imported vines (from Europe) were planted in Los Angeles in 1833. And about the same time, the first vineyard using indigenous grapes was planted in the Napa Valley, in northern California.

California wines were enjoyed locally, but were an afterthought on the world stage—if they were thought of at all. The breakthrough came at the history-making Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, a competition in which French judges blind-tasted top Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from France and from California. French wines were considered the best in the world. No one thought that the California wines stood a chance.

Surprise: California wines ranked highest in each category (the details). Americans, who had previously enjoyed cocktails before and with meals, began to drink lush California red and white wines.

 

Cocktails & Desserts

Most of us drink wine and use it in cooking, but it can also be turned into a dessert. Today’s tip: pair sparkling wine with sorbet as a cocktail or dessert. (FOOD 101: Only wines made in the Champagne region of France can legally be called Champagne. All other bubblies are called sparkling wines.)

We use the sparkling wines from Domaine Chandon—established in the Napa Valley in 1973 by the great French house of Moët et Chandon—and pints of artisan sorbets from Whole Foods Market.

  • For A Cocktail: Chandon Brut Classic With Green Apple Sorbet. Place an ounce of sorbet at the base of a Champagne flute or other glass and top with the sparkling wine. The sorbet will slowly infuse into the wine, adding sweet fruitiness.
  • For Dessert: Chandon Rosé With Peach Sorbet. For a a light and elegant dessert, fill a standard wine glass or goblet halfway with wine. Add a large scoop of sorbet. Garnish with a raspberry for color and an optional chiffonade (very thin strips) of fresh basil for color and a counterpoint of flavor. You can substitute a cinnamon stick for a fall touch.
     
    It couldn’t be easier—or more delicious.

    Find more of our favorite desserts in our Gourmet Desserts Section and Gourmet Ice Cream Section.

      





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