Champagne in a glass, champagne on a plate. Cook with the most festive wine

Present: Israel befriends champagne (and vice versa)

2020 opened with a bang in Israeli restaurants. Tel Aviv has been marked as an international culinary destination by luxury corporations and world trends leaders. The medal truck was already on its way.

“Clovis Tatinza, one of the owners of the champagne house named after him (Taittainger), also came here, and like many Europeans, fell in love with restaurants and the culinary scene – and decided to mark us as a focus market,” says Gilad Flem, owner of the local vine. “We priced the bottles at an attractive price for restaurants and bars – and dozens of them in Tel Aviv served glasses of champagne at more affordable prices than ever before. Then came the corona.”



The momentum was cut short in Ivo and still – this year a feature was felt in the field of wines in general, in light of the increased consumption – and the elite in particular. The limited waste options, as well as a significant drop in the prices of some of the champagnes, for example – put new audiences in the circle.

“There is an increase in household consumption of champagne, a beautiful bottle to photograph for Instagram – and this is important today for many customers. There are even those who take champagne bottles for festive Shabbat meals. Add to that the drop in prices of some champagne brands abroad – and you get a trend,” says a marketing manager. In one of the wine chains.

“The truth is – I was surprised to discover the responsiveness to wines that are also more expensive,” says the esteemed sommelier Shira Sidon, who built the wine menu of the delicate deli in question that recently opened on Sheinkin Street in Tel Aviv.

Today there is a double-digit number of champagnes that are priced in the range between 130 shekels and a little over 200. Mumm, Pomeranian and Alexander Beaver are some of these, as are the champagne growers Shika and Jimona. There is even kosher champagne at Shufersal: from the reputed Drapia house, which is priced at NIS 189 this month.

Prominent among them is the culinary and wonderful Champagne Roinar, which has made an impressive leap in consciousness and sales this year, after a significant price drop. The house’s Blanc de Blanc champagne, which is made only from Chardonnay grapes, is considered one of the most valued in the region – and wins many awards every year. “The quantities sold are beautiful – and will increase as we get closer to New Year’s Eve,” says Elad Slobtik, marketing director at the alcohol importer Aspirit.

“As a company that emphasizes the accessibility of alcohol prices, from the moment the price dropped there is a feature in sales, also of champagne – and not only in the center of the country, as we see from sales on the site. In general, there is a renewed increase in sparkling wines in the entire segment. “Jacques Polyber is affordable, and even of the prestigious Krug.”

At home you can also cook with the remaining champagne, if you have already opened a bottle. Just as she turns every dinner into an event, so too does cooking enjoy her star-studded dishes. Ceramic pasta sauces can be used with it (see recipe); Combine it with butter as an addition to chunks of fish and more. Champagne has also gained fame as a wonderful and aromatic vinegar for leaf salads, and it comes to the country as such and stars in many delicacies.

In the dessert segment, the most famous of the champagne desserts is jelly, which in Israel was prepared for years in the legendary Yoezer restaurant, with or without chopped strawberries. In the United States and England you can find in this season of the year lemon cakes and cupcakes in champagne glaze and even as spreads for pancakes and crepes with added cream.

Champagne jelly dessert with raspberries / Photo: Shutterstock

Champagne jelly dessert with raspberries / Photo: Shutterstock

Past: The widows who broke the market

Champagne has been used for cooking for more than 300 years. Dishes combined with champagne gained extraordinary popularity in the late 19th century, in the kitchens of the Russian and British aristocracy, as well as among the new bourgeoisie – an integral part of ceremonial meals as well as cocktails that became classics. Magdanaim in Paris made Christmas sweets with it – jelly cubes coated in candies, for example, a locomotive of kings, which unfortunately have disappeared from the landscape in recent years.

Champagne itself has been considered a royal drink for over a thousand years. Champagne, the region that gave it its name, was named after the Roman conquerors after the Italian Campania region – in light of its topographical resemblance. They also brought the vines here, as they did in the provinces of Iberia and Germany, and to this day there are cellars in the Champagne region – in the legendary Wu Clico winery for example – based on the cool limestone caves built by the Romans to store food and wine in the fifth century AD.

The cathedral in Reims, the capital of the region, was used by the Frankish kings for the coronation from 987 AD until 1798 – accompanied by local wine. And yet – the champagne wine has for years been considered inferior to neighboring Burgundy.

The cold climate produced a sour and thin wine here. In addition, to the horror of the wineries, the rope bottles also tended to ferment and explode in the cellars after bottling, since as the weather warms up in the spring, a second fermentation begins in it. The flaw became a curiosity that gained popularity in English. Later, in the court of King Philip II, champagne has already become a pinnacle of quality – and the most popular wine among the nobility.

Demand has led rope makers to try and produce sparkling wine on purpose. They managed to do so after 100 years of trial and error, and only in the 19th century. Then the famous houses of the region were born: Krug, Pomeranian, Wu Clico and Bollinger for example. Many of the houses were run by the widows of the owners, who extended years after their loved ones – and turned out to be better professionals than them. The widow clicked for example – who believes in many of the inventions in the field of sparkling wine production to this day.

In the first quarter of the 20th century, it seemed that similar to the fate of the Spanish sherry industry, which competed for its culinary debut with champagne, the heyday of champagne is moving to the pages of history. The Bolshevik revolution in Russia and the drought in the United States took the two major markets of the region out of the equation – and in addition, most of the region’s vineyards were finely crushed when they served as trenches and battlefields in World War I.

However, the enormous marketing efforts and hard work of the champagne houses – the best known of which is the widow Lily Bollinger – led to the revival of the drink in the 1950s. Elegant wine has become an integral part of every celebration in the West: from end-of-year and Christmas celebrations to birthdays, weddings and meals at chef restaurants. All of these have led to a 400% increase in rope output over the 70 years that have passed since.

The pink champagne, the rosé champagne, which enjoys a steady increase in sales, has become synonymous with luxury, decadence and has been associated with the names of famous tyrannical women. Imelda Marcus, for example.

Future: You can raise a glass

With the arrival of the vaccine in Corona, which landed in Israel last weekend in the presence of the Prime Minister, the hope of returning to sanity also returned. A great reason to raise a glass, backed by promotions and initiatives that are starting to pop up in wine chains.

The Norman Hotel, for example, offers a luxurious wooden champagne package for the New Year, with a variety of tuffins and decorations. The champagnes are by Roinar, in elegant and plump New Year’s Eve bottles on which the sommelier Sidon believes together with the hotel staff.

Beneficiaries are invited to try Mirabell’s new champagne – a new home, launched by the provincial rosé maker of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in the Champagne region, which produces only pink champagnes. Champagne – a craft of technique and aging – is led by Pete in a special campaign. Less than 20,000 bottles were launched from it, and a few dozen arrived in Israel. The price: NIS 2,000 (“and is expected to increase significantly in the future. A great buy for those who have fun with wines for investment and trade,” says the marketing director).

Beside her this year she enjoys Focus Krug – one of the most respected in the field, served in glasses at the best Michelin restaurants in the world. Unlike happy champagnes, Krug, which is aged in wooden barrels, has an almost dark complexity – something between a David Lynch film and a whiskey distillate at the age of recruitment.

The price has dropped by tens of percent this year in Israel, at least NIS 1,000 per bottle, and it too, like the Ferrari cars on the city streets, which from this month can be personally imported from abroad and the whiskey bottles in the thousands of shekels – enjoys an increase in sales and audience. To fantasize about buying a bottle for extraordinary events, “says Sidon.

On the other side of the equation stands “Wine in Love” – ​​the near-underground delivery service of the young sommelier Nimrod Calderon (Sheila, Serpina). Calderon treasures a tight and meticulous selection of wines at affordable prices – most of them at NIS 50 per bottle. In December, various sparkling wines will go up and down in “Love Wine” – among them the Doble champagne that sees less than NIS 150, one of the cheapest in Israel. “A move created out of an understanding of the status quo and a desire to provide quality wines at affordable prices with a wine man stamp. To do good and fun for people without breaking the bank,” says Calderon.

Pasta in champagne and lemon sauce / Photo: Shutterstock

Pasta in champagne and lemon sauce / Photo: Shutterstock

Drinking recommendation: Champagne Tatinja

Tatinaja is an esteemed and family-owned champagne house, which has been zealously maintained since it was bought between the world wars from the monks who ran it for 200 years.

It is imported to Israel by another family company: Flem’s “Vine”, which is also believed to be the product of the excellent winery that bears its name and is found in the mountains of Jerusalem. Today Tatinza is one of the popular champagne brands in the restaurants and bars of Paris and it offers good value for money, there as here.

Tatinje Champagne / Photo: pcs

Champagne Tatinza / Photo: PR

Unlike the invested labels of its members for the rope, the bottles are endowed with solid, almost modest labels – as befits champagne that has engraved on its banner the essence beyond the appearance of the eye. The brut champagne of the house is very floral and fruity. The bubble is gentle and there is a pleasant and pronounced yeasty scent. A wine that is first and foremost a wine, and fun to accompany a festive meal: from an invested brunch until Friday evening.

Tatina Brut NV. By the end of the month, the price is NIS 179 at the Mano Vino chain.


Pasta shells in a creamy sauce of lemon and champagne

A recipe by Roi Yerushalmi

Ingredients (for a Pyrex family template):
1 packet of conch pasta, the largest you can find

To fill:
1 cup basil ricotta spread
0.5 cup grated pecorino cheese
Grated peel of one lemon
Salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon erased sugar

For the lemon-champagne sauce:
Whole lemon juice
40 grams of butter (3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons flour
2 cloves crushed garlic
0.5 cup of champagne
Grated nutmeg
1/2 cup sweet cream
1 tablespoon erased sugar – a little more is also possible, according to taste
Salt and ground black pepper
0.5 cup grated pecorino cheese

Pour water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta for only 5 minutes. Filter and dry well.

For the stuffing: Mix all the ingredients well and fill with a spoon all the filling in the shells (if there are excess shells – transfer to the refrigerator and make them something nice on another occasion).

Arrange the stuffed shells in one layer and in dense rows, in a pyrex pan greased with butter – or two, if one is not large enough.

For sauce and serving: Melt butter in a small saucepan and add the garlic. Stir and fry over low heat for about a minute. Add flour and beat it together with the butter and garlic with a whisk until you get an ointment.

Add the champagne and lemon juice and stir well until boiling and a hot, lump-free sauce is obtained. Cook for another 2 minutes while whisking and add the cream and thyme. Turn off the heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce evenly over the shells in the pan. Sprinkle over the grated cheese. Transfer to a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese over the pasta has melted and the sauce is bubbling. Cool for 5 minutes at room temperature and serve.