Smoked Salmon Wedges
Makes one 12-inch round pizza; serves 6-8
one 12-inch thin-crust prepared pizza crust
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1/4 cup sour cream
5 ounces smoked salmon, very thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped red onion
3 teaspoons drained capers
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Put the crust directly on the oven rack and warm for about 5 minutes. Transfer the warm crust to a cutting board. Spread the sour cream over the crust, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Sprinkle about half of the red onion over
the sour cream and sprinkle half of the dill over the onion. Lay the salmon slices over the pizza to cover the sour cream, onion, and dill. Sprinkle the remaining onion and dill over the salmon and then scatter the capers over them. Cut the pizza into 12 wedges and serve at once.
General information about Champagne:
Champagne vs. Sparkling Wine
While many people call all sparkling wine Champagne, they're mistaken! To truly be labeled Champagne a sparkling wine must come from the Champagne region of France. All Champagne has to be made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Sparkling wine is the correct term for all other bubbly that originates from regions other than Champagne, France. Vineyards in Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and the US create wonderful sparkling wines. Each country has a different name for sparkling wine. Some examples include Prosecco, Cava and Sekt.
Brut vs. Extra Dry
Sweetness levels in sparkling wines and Champagne are determined by the "Dosage" (a mix of sugar syrup and wine), which is usually added after the second fermentation. Sparkling wines and Champagne vary in levels of sweetness from extra brut (driest) to doux (sweetest). However, brut is one of the most popular varieties and goes very well with food. Extra dry means it's sweeter and is usually blanc de blanc, meaning it's made with Chardonnay grapes.
Rose's are typically the most rare and expensive style that a producer has to offer. The reason most sparkling wines are white is that the grapes and their skins do not make contact in the crushing process. Rose sparkling wines actually take a portion of the wine and mix it with the skins. Rose varietals are actually the number one selling Champagne in France and number three worldwide.
Vintage vs. Non-Vintage
Most Champagne and sparkling wines are non-vintage. This simply means that it is made every year. Vintage wines, Dom Perignon being the most popular, are not made every year. Instead, they are made during years in which the environment is especially ideal. This usually only happens about three or four years out of 10, which is why vintage wines are more expensive.
A general assumption, given that sparkling wines are so sweet, is that they pair best with foods like fruit, chocolate and cakes. However, because of the acidity they actually pair much better with salty, savory foods like seafood, appetizers and even a great steak.
Serving tips for Champagne:
After removing the foil, place a napkin over the top of the champagne while firmly holding the neck of the bottle. With the other hand reach under the napkin and begin to twist the tie of the cage that sits over the cork until just loosened.
Without removing the cage, take your hand from under the napkin and place it on top of the cage over the napkin.
Pushing down on the cage and cork, slowly twist the cork until you feel the cork pushing towards you. With applied pressure let the cork ease out of the bottle, releasing a soft whisper.
Pour slowly into a champagne flute.