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Sweet Celebration: How to Host a Strawberries & Champagne Tasting

Mon, Apr 17, 23  |  tastings and pairings

Fresh Arkansas strawberries are a real treat. Add some Champagne or sparkling wine and you have a delicious celebration.


Here are our tips on hosting a Strawberries & Champagne Tasting for a birthday, engagement or to enhance a brunch event.


Remember, celebrate responsibly.


We know that strawberries are a natural to pair with Champagne or sparkling wine. But we have a few ideas to further enhance those flavors.


Style Guide

Don’t be overwhelmed by the numerous choices. Here is a guide to the different styles of Champagne and sparkling wine.

  • Brut: has no or very little detectable sweetness/sugar with less than 12 grams per liter of residual sugar.

  • Brut Nature: (brut zero, non-dosage, ultra brut, brut sauvage) is bone dry with 0 to 2 grams per liter of residual sugar.

  • Extra-Brut: has no sweetness with 0 to 6 grams per liter of residual sugar.

  • Extra Dry: (also called Extra Sec) has some detectable sweetness/sugar with 12 to 17 grams per liter of residual sugar.

  • Sec: (Dry) has noticeable sweetness/sugar with 17 to 32 grams per liter of residual sugar.

  • Demi-sec: (Medium Dry) is moderately sweet and not a true dessert wine. It has a dosage of 32 to 50 grams per liter of residual sugar.

  • Doux: (Sweet) is very sweet (naturally soft in the mouth) with greater than 50 grams per liter of residual sugar. This style is rarely if ever produced commercially any more.

Fast Facts

  1. Chill the Champagne or sparkling wine for 20 minutes in ice

  2. Don’t open the Champagne until after guests arrive

  3. Serve Champagne in flutes; if you don’t have enough flutes for all of your guests a white wine glass will work

  4. For a tasting, only pour 2 - 3 ounces of each style

What’s the difference between Champagne and sparkling wine? 
Sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if it comes from the region of Champagne, France, which is just outside of Paris.

Simply Strawberry

Yields 6

  • 6 fresh strawberries that have been well chilled

  • Angostura bitters

  • 6 Tbsp. St. Remy French Brandy

  • Toso Brut Argentina sparkling wine, well chilled

Start with 6 well chilled Champagne flutes. Place a strawberry in each. Add one tbsp of the St. Remy Brandy to each flute, followed by a dash of Angostura bitters. Top with the Toso Brut sparkling wine and enjoy.


Sparkling Black Raspberry & Strawberry Cocktail

Yields 6

  • ¼ cup strawberries, cleaned, hulled and roughly chopped

  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 2 Tbsp. fine sugar

  • 12 oz. Korbel Extra Dry sparkling wine, very well chilled

  • 1 oz. Chambord (raspberry liqueur)

  • 2 whole strawberries for garnish

In a food processor combine the ¼ cup strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. Puree until smooth. In 2 chilled Champagne flutes, spoon in 1-2 Tbsp. of the strawberry puree. Add ½ oz. of Chambord to each. Top off with Korbel Extra Dry. Garnish with a strawberry and serve.

Farm to Cocktail Strawberry Bellini

Yields 4

  • 4 oz. Grand Marnier orange flavored liqueur

  • 4 tsp. local Arkansas honey

  • 4 fresh Arkansas strawberries

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle Chandon Brut Rosé, well chilled

At least an hour before, place 4 Champagne flutes in the freezer. Add the Grand Marnier, honey and strawberries to a food processor and process until smooth. Fill the chilled glasses halfway with the strawberry mixture and then fill the rest of the glass with the Chandon Brut Rosé.


Tip: You won’t need all the Champagne. Reserve it by using an inexpensive Champagne bottle corker available at Colonial.

Sparkling Strawberry Mojito

Yields 4

  • 1 cup diced strawberries + 4 extra strawberries for garnish

  • 2-14 mint leaves – extra for garnish

  • 4 tsp. superfine sugar or simple syrup

  • 4 oz. fresh lime juice

  • 4 oz. Bacardi Superior White Rum

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs, well chilled

  • 4 chilled Champagne flutes for serving

In a large rocks glass, add ½ of the diced strawberries, half of the mint leaves, sugar and lime juice. Muddle the strawberries and mint and other ingredients to meld the oils and flavors together. 


Stir in 2 oz. of rum. Divide this mixture between two of the Champagne flutes. Repeat these steps for the second half of the recipe. Top off the four flutes with the Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine.


Garnish with strawberries and fresh mint leaves.


There’s nothing like a weekend brunch with family and friends gathered around your table. Put together the ingredients for a make-your-own sparkling wine cocktail, and make table tents with favorite recipes. Encourage your guests to come up with their own recipes and variations that everyone can sample and share. The key is having fun, and these brunch cocktail ideas are a great way to do just that!

By Clark Trim

Tags: strawberry strawberries and champagne tastings pairings