By Kathy Jollimore

Champagne and other sparkling wines are truly the drinks of celebration, pairing well with everything from classics such as caviar and oysters to less traditional pairings.


Toast friends, and the world of sparkling wines.

Country Language Word Pronunciation Translation
France French A Votre Santé Ah vo-tre sahn-tay To Your Health
Germany German Prost Prohst Cheers
Italy Italian Salute Saw-lutay Health
Spain Spanish Salud Sah-lud Health
South Africa Afrikaans Gesondheid Ge-sund-hate Good Health

Wild Mushroom Arancini

  • 6 servings
  • Prep Time: Less than 3 hours
  • Total Time: Less than 3 hours


  • 3 to 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 oz dried wild mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 00 g mixed mushrooms,
  • finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 /4 cup parmesan,
  • finely grated
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 12 cubes mozzarella
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions: Start by making the risotto. Bring the stock and mushrooms to a boil then reduce to simmer. Heat butter in a second large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté shallots and garlic for five minutes. While stirring, add the rice and cook until well toasted, about five minutes. Add the wine. Cook until completely absorbed by the rice. Remove the mushrooms and reserve. Add a ladleful of stock to the rice, stirring often until completely absorbed. Add another ladleful of stock and repeat until the rice is al dente, about 20 minutes. Chop the reserved mushrooms and stir into the risotto. Stir in the Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool. Put flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Using a few tablespoons of risotto, roll into a ball, stuffing a cube of mozzarella inside. Repeat with remaining risotto to make 12 balls. Heat a few inches of oil in a heavy pot to 340°F. Dip the risotto balls in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Working in batches, fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel. Best served with truffle or garlic aioli.

  • Like This: Bolla Prosecco Superiore DOCG, Italy, $19.99
  • Try That: Santa Margherita Prosecco DOCG, Italy, $21.99


  • Like This: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut, France, $72.29
  • Try That: Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut, France, $82.79

img_0875Spicy Smoked Salmon Hand Rolls

  • 6 servings
  • Prep Time: Less than 30 minutes
  • Total Time: Less than 1 hour


  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1/ 2 cup Japanese-style Kewpie
  • or regular mayonnaise
  • 4 sheets toasted nori
  • 1 package cold smoked salmon
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cucumber, julienned

Directions: Cook sushi rice according to package directions. Stir together vinegar and sugar. Stir into the rice and allow to cool. Stir together Sriracha and mayo. Refrigerate until ready to use. Cut the nori sheets into three equal pieces. Lay out one strip of nori shiny side down. Add 1 to 2 tablespoon of sushi rice onto the left side of the nori. Press into a rough square. Spread on some spicy mayo. Top with a slice of salmon, several cucumber pieces and a slice of avocado. Fold the bottom left edge up over the fillings, forming a cone. Continue rolling into a cone shape. Secure the edge with a grain of rice. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger, if desired.

img_0842Potato Gruyère Tart

  • 6 servings
  • Prep Time: Less than 30 minutes
  • Total Time: Less than 1 hour


  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 4 fingerling potatoes, sliced very thinly
  • 1 cup Gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out the puff pastry to fit a 9” tart pan and refrigerate until the oven is preheated. Spread half the cheese on the pastry shell. Working from the outer rim, layer potatoes, overlapping them in a spiral pattern. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cover with remaining cheese. Pour cream evenly over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from pan and serve.


  • Like This: Bouvet Ladubay Brut, France, $21.99
  • Try That: Graham Beck Brut, South Africa, $19.99


img_0904Pear Almond Brie Strudel

  • 12 servings
  • Prep Time: Less than 30 minutes
  • Total Time: Less than 1 hour


  • 6 sheets phyllo pastry
  • 1 cup almonds, sliced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 pear, thinly sliced
  • 450 g wheel Brie, top rind removed

Directions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut the phyllo into a square. Reserve two tablespoons of almonds then roughly chop the remaining. Stir together with the brown sugar. On a parchmentlined baking sheet, add one sheet of pastry. Brush all over with butter then sprinkle with 1/6 of the almond sugar. Repeat with the remaining puff pastry. Put the Brie in the centre. Top with the pear. Fold and pleat the pastry over the Brie, brushing each piece with butter until enclosed like a present. Sprinkle with remaining almonds. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve with baguette, crostini or crackers and additional pear slices.

  • Like This: Mia Delicate & Sweet Pink Moscato, Spain, $16.99
  • Try That: Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante, Italy, $14.99
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