Champagne isn’t just for proposing a toast or welcoming the new year. From the elegantly simple oysters on the half shell to glorious fried chicken, treat yourself to a bit of luxury and indulge in these Champagne and food pairings.
How to Pair Champagne
by Matthew Lorman
Champagne is delicious and mesmerizing enough on its own but can transform into a different version of itself when paired with food. Champagne isn’t just for proposing a toast or welcoming the new year. From the elegantly simple oysters on the half shell to glorious fried chicken, treat yourself to a bit of luxury and indulge in these Champagne and food pairings. There is always an occasion deserving of Champagne!
All Things Salty
Salt is a very powerful culinary ingredient. It has the ability to elevate the taste of food. When you eat something salty with wine, it enhances the flavors of the wine. Pair Champagne with your favorite snacks like freshly popped buttered popcorn, roasted and salted cashews, french fries, and potato chips.
It is hard to find something that Champagne doesn’t pair well with. Oysters are no exception. Fried, grilled, broiled, or just shucked, Champagne can stand up to just about any type of oyster, regardless of whether it is cooked or raw. Try a richer and fuller-bodied style of Champagne with Oysters Rockefeller, and lighter styles if you are slurping them straight out of the shell. The bubbly mousse combined with the high acidity of Champagne is perfect for cleansing the palate, getting your mouth ready for the next round.
If you haven’t experienced this combination, stop what you’re doing and run out to the closest fried chicken place. Grab a bucket of chicken and Champagne and let the magic happen. The bright acidity helps cut through the fat so you don’t feel so guilty reaching for a second piece. The natural effervescence of the wine intensifies the textural sensation of biting into a perfectly crisp piece of chicken. Pro tip: if you’re making fried chicken at home, use potato starch instead of flour for an even crispier crunch. Pair Champagnes labeled “Brut” or “Brut Nature” with recipes like buttermilk fried chicken or herb-marinated fried chicken wings. If you’re in the mood for some sweet heat, try pairing sweeter styles of champagne with Korean fried chicken with a soy marinade or a spicy gochujang glaze.
Champagne pairs wonderfully with buttery and creamy foods, especially cheese. Some great pairing options that you don’t want to overlook on your cheese board are brie and camembert. These cheeses are rich, creamy, and dreamy, and interact nicely with the delicate bubbles in Champagne. For more complex champagnes with nutty and brioche flavors, consider cheeses that share similar characteristics. Cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano, Edam, and Gouda will help to enhance the nutty and toasty flavors in the wine. Don’t forget all the accoutrements for the perfect cheese board! Nuts, sliced meats, and dried fruits are perfect to snack on while indulging in a glass of bubbly.
What's your favorite Champagne pairing? Fried chicken and bubbly or something else? Tell us on Instagram (@DCanterwines) and show us your creativity! Cheers!