Ahhh, the holidays! If you’re like me this year, I’m in full-on “cheers” mode with a plethora of dinner parties, brunch and tea gatherings, family events in Chicago, lunches out with “the girls”, and preparations to be made for my daughter and young family to arrive December 23. Admittedly, it’s a bit unusual to have such a full schedule, but I’m loving it.  I embrace any reason to make a toast to this special season and always have a chilled bottle of sparkling wine ready for sharing.

Le Medaillon Brut
One element that often is forgotten, though, is selecting and actually serving a creative dish that pairs with that bottle of bubbles.  I have been known to plate the same type of cheese platter or shrimp cocktail for my guests; trust me, they are appreciative, but I have more satisfaction as a hostess when presenting something unique.

This month, the Wine Pairing Weekend group, a band of bloggers with a well-honed palate and culinary skills to match, have published “Sparkling Wine and Festive Holiday Dishes”, an answer to my conundrum!  You will love these wine choices and recipes (found below) designed to make your holiday more relaxing, festive, and creative.

My contribution to #winePW is a savory pairing for those special holiday moments: Le Medaillon Brut Champagne, a brilliant, distinctive bottle of bubbles, and Normandy Fondue with its oozing, cheesy burst of flavors.  What better way to socialize than with a glass or two of Champagne and a bit of apple or crusty bread dipped into a fondue pot laden with a warm mixture of Camembert, Boursin, Chablis, and a splash of dessert wine?  Perfect as a fun party starter or as the beginning or end of a lovely evening at home, you will find this fondue simple to make and the Champagne easy to drink.  Bring on the festivities!

Le Medaillon Brut
Le Medaillon Brut NV (sample)

An authentic, grower champagne from 10th generation winemakers in Celles-Sur-Ource, France, this sparkling wine was crafted from grapes grown only on its estate’s vineyards. Le Medaillon Brut is aged without oak in stainless steel tanks for thirty months, twice as long as required by French law; the second fermentation is in the bottle.  Their exclusive producer, the House of Cheurlin, utilizes old world production techniques and the finest grapes from the estate to offer this incredible wine which garnered 92 points from Wine Spectator.

I was immediately impressed with the small, persistent bubbles in my first pour of the Le Medaillon Brut that is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. Intense aromas of cream, white flowers, and a hint of citrus led to notes of herbs, juicy fruit, and minerality which complemented the rich yet smooth flavors of the fondue.  The finish on this beautiful Champagne was long, velvety, and decadent.  Pour these bubbles and you’ll immediately bring “festive” to your holiday! Cost is $45.

Normandy Fondue


  • 10oz Camembert cheese (rind discarded and cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Chablis or chardonnay
  • 1 box of Boursin cheese (5.2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons muscat or other sweet dessert wine
  • sea salt (optional)


Step 1
Toss the Camembert with the flour in a bowl and set aside.
Step 2
In a fondue pot, bring the Chablis to a boil over medium high heat.
Step 3
Decrease the heat to low. Add the Boursin and stir until melted.
Step 4
Add the Camembert mixture one half cup at a time. Stir until melted after each addition.
Step 5
Add the muscat and stir until smooth.
Step 6
Season with salt to taste.
Step 7
Serve immediately and enjoy with apple chunks, cooked sausages cut into bite size pieces, toasted red or Yukon gold potatoes, or lightly toasted bread cubes.
Step 8
And of course, pour yourself a glass of lovely Champagne!

Normandy Fondue

Cheers! ~ Cindy

Enjoy the pairings in the following “Sparkling Wine and Festive Holiday Dishes” posts~

A Day in the Life on the Farm  – “An Assortment of Appetizers with a California Champagne”

Curious Cuisiniere  – “Italian Panettone and Sparkling Wine”

Confessions of a Culinary Diva  – “Champagne & Caviar Dreams”

Pull That Cork  – “Celebrating In Style with Giulio Ferrari for #winePW”

ENOFYLZ Wine Blog – “A 3-Course Sparkling Wine Dinner with Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut”

Dracaena Wines – “Why We Love Sparkling (And You Should, Too!)”

WinePassItaly – “Asti Spumante with Hazelnut and Torrone Semifreddo for #WinePW”

FoodWineClick – “Easy Holiday Appetizers & a Sparkler from South Africa”

Cooking Chat – “Kale Pesto Crostini Wine Pairing That Sparkles”

Wines of Roero – “Roero Arneis Spumanti DOCG and Lobster Risotto Arancini”

Austrian Wines USA – “Austria’s Sekt with Smoked Char Cucumber Canapes”

Rockin’ Red Blog – “A Sparkling Good Wine and Food Pairing”

Culinary Adventures with Camilla – “Lemon Poached Scallops with Caviar”


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    • Cindy Rynning


      Thanks, David! My pleasure to host- I love your pairings, too. Cheers to the holidays!

  1. Reply

    That fondue looks excellent…
    You’re right–anyone appreciates just about any wine and food you give them (don’t we all?) but it’s much more satisfying when you put more thought into it and offer something different.

    • Cindy Rynning


      Thanks, Diana! And it doesn’t take too much extra time to get creative, does it? Cheers!

  2. Reply

    Do you believe I have never made fondue? It always looks so good, but never did. Thank you again for hosting and for choosing a fantastic theme. I love Sparkling and would drink it as much as possible, so “having” to was great!

    • Cindy Rynning


      You need to make fondue, Lori! It’s a fun way to gather a few friends together – and don’t forget to pop the cork on those bubbles!! Enjoy your holiday~ Cindy

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