Champagne and food pairings
In the UK Champagne is often drunk on its own but for many this celebratory drink takes on an exciting fresh dimension when paired with food.
It seems a versatile drink, so the drinks business has compiled a list of food that sits well with Champagne, with some of them being a little unexpected.
When pairing Champagne and food the acidity of the wine is key. There are some classic pairings – caviar, oysters – but there are some more unexpected foods that are also an ideal match.
Just because crisps are a snack food, doesn’t mean they are to be discounted. Consider the fat, salt, and crunch of a great chip—with a nice, acidic Champagne. Rosé Champagne is a particularly good option with salty crisps. Some argue that Champagne has much more life with a good, cheap crisp.
Usually people think of seafood when they reach for a Champagne, but with an aged sparkling wines, richer meats pair quite nicely. Venison is particularly rich and sits perfectly with a mature sparkling wine. In db eats, a meaty venison was on the menu along with a “Press for Champagne” button at Bob Bob Ricard.
The concept for this food match to Champagne is that bitter orange, dark chocolate sits really well on the palate with a rosé Champagne. In its simplest term – jaffa cakes are a good food pairing to Champagne. A richer, darker chocolate would bring out a stronger composition to rosé Champagne. For Easter, the drinks business recommended sparkling wine as a really good match to dark chocolate.
4. Fish and Chips
Champagne has a lot of acidity in it, which helps to cut through the oil in the batter and chips. The fizz is also well suited to the crispy skin of the chips and a side of mushy pies wouldn’t be out of place either. In 2011 Champagne Salon launched its 1999 vintage with a fish and chip lunch in London’s Notting Hill. Salon president Didier Depond told the drinks business, “It’s the first time I’ve eaten Salon with fish and chips, but I like the concept.”
A lot of sushi types go well with an extra dry variety of Champagne because it refreshes the palate between bites of the raw fish and delicate rice. Some believe the high-yeast content of both Champagne and soy sauce partly accounts for this compatibility.
Definitely an American choice, a chilli can be seen as a rather stable dinner choice. Match it with the right Champagne that can defuse the chilli’s spicy nature, and the dish takes on a new life.
A crunchy poppadom can be the perfect accompaniment to Champagne. Add the right dips like mint sauce, mango chutney, spiced onions or a coriander dip and you’ll have the perfect snack to enjoy with your sparkling wine.
As suggested by our social media followers, Champagne and a breakfast treat can go down very well. Eggs Benedict is one option that would work really well with very mature Champagne. Quail eggs are another popular choice. London restaurant Angelus serves its own Champage – Angelium – with hand cut steak tartar with fried quail’s egg. There is also a recipe for Champagne poached eggs, which should make your morning go that little bit easier.
The bar ChampCurr in Munich offers a wide variety of Champagne and some high-class currywurst. A currywurst is a grilled or fried sausage served with ketchup and curry powder and is a signature Berlin dish. It is traditionally a fast-food in Germany, but it has been paired – with some success – with Champagne. Some street vendors also provide the option for a Champagne with your currywurst.
Different varieties of fruit, naturally, sit better with different types of Champagne. At the top of the fruit list are berries. They lend a sweetness to the palate that accompanies the flavour of a light Champagne. Stone fruits such as peaches and plums can also pick out some of the flavours in Champagne.
Full-bodied Champagnes pair quite well with hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Gouda and Parmesan while lighter bodied Champagnes complement soft cheeses such as goat cheese and brie.