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This champagne sauce is a decedent, piquant and creamy sauce that will elevate your plate from great to truly special. Serve it with salmon, white fish or drizzled over lobster. It’s also really easy to pull together, and can be made in advance, making it a great option if you are entertaining!
What is it?
This sauce combines champagne with sautéed shallots, cream and light fish stock. it’s a beautiful and rich sauce that is literally singing with flavour. The sauce is super creamy, and you can really taste the flavour of the champagne.
What can I serve it with?
This sauce is perfect for seafood. The dry flavour of the champagne with its hints of citrus are the ideal complement to fish or shellfish. Drizzle this over salmon, cod or seabass for a wonderful fish sauce. Or serve it on the side of prawns (shrimp), langoustines, crab or lobster.
Of course, a great plate of seafood is perfect when paired with some freshly cooked green veg or salad. Why not try:
- Roasted tenderstem broccoli
- Grilled asparagus (if you use this recipe then omit the balsamic so it doesn’t clash with the sauce)
- Courgette salad
- Roasted courgette
- Minted peas
Can I use prosecco or a different sparkling wine?
All champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne. You can absolutely swap the champagne for a different variety of sparkling but the final taste of the sauce will vary depending on which you choose. Not only that but ‘Sparkling Wine Sauce’ doesn’t have the same ring as ‘Champagne Sauce’ (but we won’t tell if you substitute the wine and keep the name!)
When comparing champagne to prosecco, there are key differences in flavour between the two. Champagne hails from France and typically uses Chardonnay, Pinot noir or Pinot Meunier grapes. It tends to be drier and has notes of peach, citrus, almonds and a unique toasty flavour.
Prosecco, on the other hand, is produced in Italy in the Prosecco region and uses only Glera grapes which are only found in Italy. The bubbles are frothier and less lively than in champagne and don’t usually last as long. It tastes a lot fruitier in general with flavours of apple, melon and pear and it is, therefore, sweeter and lighter.
Then you have other sparkling grapes, like Cava which comes from Spain. Cava is generally sourer in flavour, which is perfect for pairing with savoury tapas plates.
If you are looking for a sparkling wine that is the most similar to Champagne, then grab yourself a bottle of English sparkling wine. Although a relative newcomer to the world of sparkling wine, English sparkling is produced in the same way as Champagne and has some of the same qualities such as toasty notes, although it’s typically a little stronger on the apple flavours. However, a quality bottle will most likely set you back a similar amount to a bottle of champagne.
Can I make it with a non-alcoholic sparkling wine?
This sauce can certainly be made with non-alcoholic sparkling wine. However, many non-alcoholic wines just can’t match the same complex, rich taste as the real stuff. They are often a lot sweeter too so you could add a little extra lemon juice if you go down this route.
If it’s the alcohol in the sauce that you are worried about then don’t be. After adding the champagne the sauce is reduced twice, so there will be no alcohol left in the final sauce after all that simmering.
What type of champagne should I use?
Champagne, as with white wine, can be sweet or dry depending on the amount of sugar added during the process. I recommend using very dry champagne for this sauce, typically referred to as ‘brut’. This will produce that beautifully piquant flavour that pairs so beautifully with seafood. ‘Sec’ (semi-dry) or ‘Extra-Sec’ (dry) will also give a great flavour that is a little less acidic.
Use ‘Doux’ (very sweet) or ‘Demi-Sec’ (sweet) with caution. These are usually served as dessert wines and have over 40-50g of sugar per litre. Therefore, the end result will be a much sweeter sauce (although if that’s what you want to go for then use it by all means).
Can I make it in advance?
One of the great things about this sauce is that it can be made up to 3 days in advance and heated at the time of serving, making it a great option for a dinner party or for times when you want to plan a great meal without spending hours in the kitchen. After cooling, transfer the finished sauce to a sealed container and store it in the fridge. It will thicken more once cooled but should loosen when heated. You can also add a splash of stock or water when reheating if you want to thin it out more. Always reheat slowly in a pan.
You can also freeze the sauce for up to 3 months although you may find it splits when thawed. You can bring it back together by reheating gently after thawing and stirring well until combined.
For a full list of ingredients with weights and measurements jump to the printable recipe card.
- Shallots, finely diced
- Champagne (see notes above about using alternative sparkling wine)
- Fish stock – there is really little point splashing out on a nice bottle of sparkling and then using a cheap stock. If you don’t have a homemade fish stock available then try and find a ready-made quality stock. Alternatively, a stockpot will work better than stock cubes which tend to be extremely salty.
- Single/whipping cream
- Parsley, finely chopped
How to make it
For detailed steps with recipe tips jump to the printable recipe card.
- Sauté the shallots in butter until softened.
- Add the champagne and simmer until reduced by half.
- Add the fish stock and reduce by half again
- Stir in the cream and parsley and simmer until fully combined and thickened. Season to taste.
Looking for more great sauce recipes? Try:
- Parsley sauce
- Red wine jus
- Sugar free sweet chilli sauce
- Red pesto
- Balsamic glaze
- Bread sauce
- Lemon & parsley gremolata
- Italian salsa verde
Products that work well for this recipe:
Souper Cubes – freeze soups or sauces easily!
Beeswax Food Wraps
Set of 2 Small Sauce Boats / Jugs
This champagne sauce is decedent, piquant and creamy. It will elevate your plate from great to truly special. Serve it with salmon, white fish or shellfish.
The default recipe serves 2 (4 tbsp per serving).
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp finely diced shallots
- 250ml / 1 cup champagne (see note 1,2)
- 125ml / 1/2 cup fish stock (see note 3)
- 125ml / 1/2 cup single/whipping cream
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley (see note 4)
- Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat until melted. Add the shallots and saute for around 4 minutes until softened (but not browned).
- Pour the champagne into the pan and increase the heat to high. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half (around 5-8 minutes).
- Add the fish stock to the pan and bring it back to a simmer. Again, reduce by half (around 5-8 minutes).
- Stir the cream and parsley into the sauce and simmer for around 5 more minutes, until the sauce has fully combined and thickened. Season to taste.
- Serve with fish or shellfish.
- I recommend using very dry champagne for this sauce, typically referred to as ‘brut’. This will produce that beautifully piquant flavour that pairs so beautifully with seafood. ‘Sec’ (semi-dry) or ‘Extra-Sec’ (dry) will also give a great flavour that is a little less acidic.
- Prosecco, Cava, or any other type of sparkling wine can be substituted, although as each variety has its own unique flavour profile the taste of the sauce will vary depending on which you use.
- There is really little point splashing out on a nice bottle of sparkling and then using a cheap stock. If you don’t have a homemade fish stock available then try and find a ready-made quality stock. Alternatively, a stockpot will work better than stock cubes which tend to be extremely salty.
- You can alternatively use dill instead of parsley.
- The sauce can be kept, sealed in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months. If the sauce splits when thawing then stir well to recombine.
- Always reheat gently in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Hob / Stove
- Cuisine: Seafood
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 385
- Fat: 25g
- Carbohydrates: 13g
- Protein: 3g
Keywords: champagne, sauce, fish, seafood, shellfish, indulgent, creamy