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The Champagne Bureau’s Guide to pairing champagne with films for the outdoor cinema season

The arrival of warm weather signals the start of the outdoor cinema season, one of London’s can’t-miss Summer experiences. Here is the Champagne Bureau’s guide to pairing different styles of Champagne with your alfresco cinema experience to add that all-important ‘fizz’ to your Summer flick.

Many open-air film screenings are taking place this summer in and around London. From the Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House, Kew the Movies at Kew Gardens and the Rooftop Film Club at Kensington Roof Gardens; to roaming cinema pop-ups such as The Nomad and Luna Cinema, which take place at various venues, such as Bishop’s Park, Brockwell Lido and Brompton Cemetery. For each film genre, there are Champagne styles and food pairings to match.

The Hollywood Classic: An old classic film such as ‘Guys and Dolls’ at Somerset House calls for a hamper and Champagne to reflect the themes of love and life in the film. A full-bodied Blanc de Noirs Champagne will complement both the film and seafood bites like smoked salmon sandwiches and prawns. If you plan to watch the film with a party of 6 or more, why not consider opening a magnum (approximately 12 servings) to add panache to the evening?

The Action Adventure: ‘Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark’ at Bishop’s Park, the ultimate adventure movie, must be enjoyed with something equally exciting. Spice things up with a Non-Vintage Champagne and pair with chilli and nachos. The lively style will diffuse the chilli’s spicy nature and the dish will take on a new flavour.

Romance: To set the mood watch ‘Shakespeare In Love’ under the stars at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre with a Rosé Champagne which will go well with romantic summer foods such as lobster salads, grilled fish and sexy British goat’s cheese. If you don’t have time to prepare a picnic, then Vintage Rosé Champagne will work nicely with take-away sushi.

American Movie: When food is provided, such as at Kensington Roof Gardens, it will most likely be the American favourites like hot dogs, burgers and chips. Order a glass or two of Blanc de Blancs Champagne which will work brilliantly with the chips’ crispy skin and will cut through the burgers’fat.

Whichever film you choose to pair Champagne with this Summer, make sure you follow the Champagne Bureau’s tips on how to open, serve and store Champagne to enjoy it at its best.

Chilling – Champagne should be served properly chilled, make sure that you put your Champagne in the fridge the night before your film viewing. Then place in a Champagne sleeve to keep cool whilst in transit to the screening.

Opening – Opening a bottle of Champagne can be intimidating for most, especially when closely surrounded by other film goers. To ensure all goes smoothly, slant the bottle at a 45 degree angle (away from other picnic parties!), untwist and remove the wire muzzle, grasp the cork firmly with thumb and forefinger, twist the bottle slowly, let pressure help push out the cork. It should sigh rather than pop.

Serving – Although tempting for hamper packing ease, banish plastic glasses! A good alternative is the stemless Riedel O range Champagne glass, they’re easier to pack in a hamper and minimise breakages whilst still delivering the ultimate Champagne drinking experience.

Storing – In case you want to store bottles of Champagne at home for future film screening, keep them horizontally in a cool, dark place away from heat, light and severe temperature variation.

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