Bastille Day Food and Drink Ideas

Written by
Vintage Cellars
February 16, 2017
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Some tips on how to celebrate French Bastille Day down under, with bites and sips to match.

For those of you who may not know much about it, Bastille Day is named after the day the French people, those seemingly without representation in the hierarchy, took on the overlords. It sounds more romantic in French, but Bastille Day celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris on the 14th of July in 1789. The French call this day La Fête Nationale (which translates to ‘The National Celebration’) or Le Quatorze Juillet (the 14th of July). It celebrates an uprising, a revolution of the people.

If you feel like having your own fete to celebrate with the French, then here are some tips on how to best embody Bastille Day down under.

On arrival

To begin let’s start with bubbles, Champagne to be precise. While many believe Champagne and oysters are a terrific pairing, and indeed it is, get yourself baking and make some gougères, or cheese puffs. Most French bakery requires some skill, so find someone who can bake or find a reputable source for the recipe so you have a reliable guide. These are the lightest, and fluffiest cheesy puffs you’ll ever have and they work so well with the lightest and airiest of drinks. Try matching it with some 2006 Moet & Chandon Vintage Champagne.

Surprising matches

As you move into your Bastille themed party bring out some cheese, charcuterie and pate. This salty, fatty and meaty course allows you to show off your wine knowledge and sense of the avant garde by serving a sweet wine. A sweet wine so early in the piece might seem unusual, but a bottle of Sauternes will offer just the right balance of sugar and acid to please even the hardiest of your ‘anything but sweet wine’ friends. A 375ml Carmes de Rieussec will be a thrilling addition to your party.

Eggcellent entree

Next up on the menu is an omelette. The key to making a great omelette is to keep it simple, just adding in a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Ready the pan so it’s hot, but not smoking. Beat one egg, because as the French say, one egg is an oeuf. Beat until the yolk and white are combined. Put a teaspoon of butter in the pan and as it melts add the egg and start to move the egg around with a fork so that all that it forms little mountains in the pan. The egg should cover the whole of the pan and still have bits that are runny. Add some soft goat’s cheese and fold the egg onto itself in half, so you are left with an omelette shape. Roll the egg out of the pan and onto a plate and garnish with salt and pepper and some curly endive. This is as simple as cooking gets. Serve this with La Chablisienne Chablis. Too easy.

Low and slow

If people are still looking hungry, be thankful that you made a French inspired beef stew the day before; you can tell them it is Boeuf Bourguignon. The trick to this being authentic is to use lots of red wine and plenty of onion, garlic and good quality bacon. Serve this in a bowl with a side of buttered and crusty baguette and a delightful Maison Champy Bourgogne Rouge.

Happy endings

As your guests pat their full stomachs and start saying “oh la la” far too often, send out a little treat to make this a truly memorable fete. You’ll need some Courvoisier VSOP Cognac, but you needn’t give everyone a glass. Make some brandy snaps and whisk the Cognac into the cream that fills them.

Once everyone has gone home, you can relax on the couch with a little snifter for yourself, content in the knowledge you have toasted those that stormed the Bastille in the most French way possible, by having a great big lunch.