In San Diego, we are blessed by mother nature and our seemingly endless summer, which makes Champagne an ideal year-round libation.
We often think about sparkling wines as something to order for a celebration, or as an aperitif. However, you might be amazed by how well sparkling wine, and Champagne specifically, pairs well with food. Its carbonation acts as a palate cleanser and the delicious crispiness of the wine keeps your mouth ‘working’ while eating.
When pairing food with Champagne, there’s a few things to keep in mind. One is that your food shouldn’t be excessive in any one direction. Too spicy, too sweet, too acidic, too bitter are all going to overpower your bubbles.
One of the most essential pairings is cheese, both soft or hard. Some favorites are soft/young goat cheese. Parmesan and other hard cheeses, like gouda or cheddar work well too. Try champagne with a homemade macaroni-and-cheese and you won’t be disappointed.
Another surprise pairing for champagne is fried foods. The biggest reason for this is that Champagne lacks a salty flavor-profile, so fried food fills that void. Fritto Misto and French Fries might not be where your mind automatically goes with Champagne, but it certainly should.
Proteins that are on the oily-side are also good matches for Champagne as the acid in Champagne will cut through the greasiness left behind when eating duck, fish, or other meat. Another thing to consider when pairing meats and Champagne, is that the meat should be juicy, not dry. Beef and lamb that are on the rare side are good compliments, as well as chicken.
Raw seafood is the most quintessential food pairing for Champagne. Clean, pure, fresh and light are the keys here. A nice simple crudo works well, and, of course, oysters.
When thinking about desserts, it makes sense to lean towards sweeter styles of Champagne. Fresh berries and fruit tarts are the most obvious dessert choices, but bittersweet and dark chocolate can also work well.
Whatever your meal of choice, include some bubbles and enjoy!
CUCINA celebrates Champagne Day 2017 for the month of October. Join us for a glasses of Taittinger “Brut La Francaise” Champage for a special price of $12 for the entire month. Champagne Day is celebrated on Friday, October 20th.