Ratafia Champenois Food Pairings
6th October 2022
Ratafia Champenois is the sweet little sibling of Champagne, made from the grape must of Champagne grapes, it has a minimum of 110 grams of sugar per litre and alcohol content between 16-22%, it also has to be aged at least 10 months in tanks or oak barrels before being bottled.
To put that in perspective, an average bottle of Champagne that you’ll find on the shelves will range between Extra Brut (3-6 grams of sugar) Brut (6-12 grams of sugar) or Extra Dry (12-17 grams of sugar) with the highest sugar level being a Doux – (more than 50 grams) and an average alcohol content of between 11.5-12.5%.
Ratafia is made in different countries, but Ratafia Champenois can only be made in the Champagne region in France, is it a sweet liqueur often enjoyed after a meal, it is not very common here in the UK, but it’s not impossible to find it, Champagne Route in Wapping, London does stock some bottles.
You will be very much excused if you’ve never heard of it before, it doesn’t have anywhere near the marketing budget of Champagne and is nowhere near as mass-produced, it is instead mostly made for friends and family, there are few Champagne producers who make Ratafia Champenois and even fewer who produce it to be sold.
King Prawn Salad
A delicious king prawns, lettuce, pepper and herb salad awaits to be paired with a bottle of Ratafia Champenois from Barfontarc.
When pairing wine with fish, the most recommended pairing is a white wine, whether it’s fizzy or still, but when you pour a Glass of Ratafia, the colour isn’t put into white or red, it’s more light or dark, with a light citrus/gold colour to a warm sunset to a dark oak shade, and if you stick to the same sort of logic and say the lighter colour is what we should go for, then we might miss out.
As mentioned before, we have little research into Ratafia Champenois and food pairings, so placing anything on the sidelines would be a poor choice, the Ratafia Champenois we used was on the darker side, but still paired rather nicely with the King Prawn Salad.
Le Ratafia De Champenois De Barfontarc Tasting Notes
Aroma “Tobacco, caramel, lightly toasted bread, prunes in syrup aromas.”
Flavour “Sweet citrus display with honey, oaky, floral, good length.”
Pairing Notes – “The elegance from the Ratafia Champenois remains while drawing out an excellent salty sea breeze/saline expression from the king prawns.”
Much of what I said above applies to this pairing as well, although this dish focuses more on the fish, by swapping out the healthy salad for a bed of rice, this white fish exhibits savoury fish flavours with friendly herbal notes.
Ratafia Champenois Michel Littiere Tasting Notes
Aroma – “Sweet delight of caramel, saline toffee, prunes in syrup, pastries covered in icing sugar.”
Flavour – “Morish caramel, oaky, toffee apple, dried apple slices, dates and fruits with hints of freshly baked chocolate croissants on the palate.”
Pairing Notes – “Silky texture, all the Ratafia flavours are showcased, with subtle white fish, although the Ratafia is more prominent, the fish isn’t ruined, it serves as a kind host for the Ratafia to get to your taste buds, while still delivering subtle whitefish flavours.”
Nothing beats homemade chicken pie for me, we all have that dish our family makes that stands far above what anyone else can cook, we’ve chosen a bottle of Ratafia Champenois Michael Hautem to pair with it, it’s going to be a challenge for sure, with the heavy gravy combined with the savoury pastry and chicken flavours, but let’s see how this Ratafia pairs.
Ratafia Champenois Michael Hautem Tasting Notes
Aroma – “Silky sushi sheets, tobacco, peach, apricot, citrus, yeast, a nice middle ground between the darker and lighter Ratafia’s, it’s a calming experience.”
Flavour – “Touch zesty at the launch, liquified caramel, toffee, silky yellow fruits with yellow floral on the palate.”
Pairing Notes – “A strong bold savoury presence as expected from the Chicken Pie, but at the same time, the Ratafia is shouting out, with citrus, fudge and yellow fruits, continuing up to the close, the Ratafia holds its own very well, they don’t harmonise together, they both simply demonstrate their skills next to each other, not stepping on each other’s toes, a perfect pairing.”
The final pairing for this article is to be enjoyed at the end of a meal, (or if you just want a snack in between) this Chocolate is 100% Cocoa, there is no added sugar or sweetness to this bar, its all-natural even gluten and dairy-free.
It’s a strong Chocolate that holds a big powerful punch, combining it with a very sweet Ratafia is going to be interesting.
Ratafia Champenois Charlier & Fils Tasting Notes
Aroma – “Oaky, toasty, with yellow fruits, and smoky tobacco aromas.”
Flavour – “Fresh yellow stone fruits, with yellow citrus, caramel and a nutty finish with hazelnut and walnut on the palate, I also got an underlying presence of oaky and honey .”
Pairing Notes – “The Ratafia is almost neturalised, at the start you get a sweet burst from the Ratafia, but the 100% Cocoa Chocolate overthrows the Ratafia, but not before it creates a dry, velvety and silky expression of Dark Chocolate.”
Ratafia Champenois and Food is definitely an interesting world to explore, but don’t worry, we will be diving into it again very soon, and we hope you will join us as well, so, until next, we hope you enjoy the Ratafia Champenois.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.