4 tasty tips for pairing sparkling wine with food

November 3, 2015

Many people think of sparkling wine as a drink you enjoy on its own for a celebration, but sparkling wines also pair well with food. Following the four suggestions below on how to pair sparkling wine with food can help to elevate any dining experience.

4 tasty tips for pairing sparkling wine with food

1. Think rich

  • Most sparkling wines are very flavourful and have a zing to them.
  • Thus, you want to pair them with rich, flavourful foods so your drink doesn't overpower your meal.
  • The French traditionally pair sparkling wines with foods that are rich and sweet, like French onion tarts, which are made with cheese, caramelized onions, and butter pastry.
  • Avoid pairing sparkling wine if you're serving something very simple and light in flavour, like a pasta primavera or cucumber salad.
  • Save sparkling wines for something like macaroni and cheese or risotto.

2. Try it with popcorn

  • Sparkling wine experts have long touted the combination of popcorn and sparkling wine.
  • The salty, nutty taste of popcorn perfectly accentuates the acidic bite of the bubbly wine. You can pair popcorn with champagne as an hors d'oeuvre, or as a snack during a movie or event.

3. Go fruity with meats

  • Heavy meats, like beef, lamb, or duck tend to be full in flavour, but not necessarily in acidity or bite.
  • So, rather than pair meat with a zingy sparkling white wine, go for a red sparkling wine, which is known for having more fruit notes than white wine.
  • A Lambrusco is a good choice on the side of duck, and a sparkling rose also goes well on the side of a roast.
  • Pairing a fruity sparkling wine with a meat dish that features fruit, like duck with roasted figs or apricot chicken, is a great way to accentuate both the flavour of the meat and the wine.

4. Go sparkling in the morning

  • If you're serving brunch (or brunch food at night), you can't go wrong with a sparkling wine.
  • Sparkling wines are a perfect pairing for egg dishes, because they cleanse the palate of sulfurous flavours between bites, and are a good choice if you're making an egg-based entree, like a quiche or souffle.
  • Mimosas can also be served as a traditional beverage, because orange juice and sparkling wine mixtures are both hydrating and palate cleansing, which is a great way to start the day.
  • If you're not a fan of oranges, sparkling wine also goes well with grapefruit juice, which shares similar citrus characteristics with orange juice, and pomegranate seeds add a burst of colour to any glass of bubbly.


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