I’ve Got Champagne Taste In Rice

The phrase has followed me around most of my life – “You’ve got a champagne taste but a beer budget” – and I don’t even like beer! Oh, did I miss the intention of that phrase? Yes, most of my life I have liked “things” way above what my budget could afford. The only way I can afford to attend an upscale charity auction is to donate a “rent a chef (me)” to cook a gourmet dinner for the auction winner. 

But before I figured that out, I learned a valuable lesson when I attended an auction on a beautiful yacht in Newport Beach, California. I was given a bid number on a card as I entered the yacht. All throughout the boat were beautiful items that I drooled over. These items were so expensive that they had people standing at each table watching attendees and answering questions (so I thought).  The people nodded at me, I nodded back. What I didn’t realize is that the way I was holding my bid number (and nodding), I was bidding on items as I walked around.  Apparently, I did not get the 411 on the bidding process (and probably didn’t listen if they told me because I had no intention, nor the money, to bid on anything).

At the end of the event, they announced the winners of the auction items. I was oblivious when they called my number. A woman standing next to me tapped me on the shoulder and told me my number was being announced. The shock on my face must have been evident as I walked towards the announcer to find out what I had just unknowingly bought. Well, thank goodness it was a haircut at a chic hair salon that only cost me a couple of hundred dollars (instead of the thousands I thought I might be liable to pay for an over-the-top expensive item).  Lesson learned!

So when I decided to make this recipe, I was overjoyed that finally, finally, I could afford my champagne taste, albeit only in rice. LOL. This recipe went together so quickly, it’s essentially fuss-free. I paired it with crab cakes for dinner one night and added a medley of vegetables to the leftovers another night for a vegetarian meal. Wonderfully delicious on both occasions. 

This recipe was born because we cleaned out the wine fridge. Good excuse, right? Well, I think so. We found a bottle of sparkling wine (champagne-ish) that had been in our inventory for a while. What a good opportunity to use it in a dinner dish – and rice won!

Saute the onions, rice, and pasta together with the butter.

Saute until ingredients start to brown or turn golden. 

Added champagne and chicken broth. Since I only added a cup of champagne, there was plenty left over to drink. Maybe I should rename this recipe  Tipsy Cook and Drunken Rice?


I've Got Champagne Taste In Rice

Yields 4-6

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  • 1/2 cup angel hair pasta, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup champagne
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven. Add onion, rice, and pasta. Saute until slightly golden.
  2. Add broth and champagne. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover pot and cook on a medium simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Fluff rice and check for doneness. All moisture should be cooked out or continue cooking another 5 minutes. Watch pot carefully so rice doesn't dry out and stick to the bottom of the pot.


For a vegetarian version: substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth.

1 thought on “I’ve Got Champagne Taste In Rice”

  1. Pingback: Crab Cakes To Sooth A Crabby Mood – Christina's Food And Travel

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