Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (Southern Glazer’s)—the world’s preeminent distributor of beverage alcohol—provided holiday food pairing recommendations for every celebration’s best mate, Champagne—the bubbly wine that is often perceived as the most fun, yet underrated when it comes to food pairings. Southern Glazer’s Senior Vice President and Director of Wine Education Eric Hemer serves up tips that will have consumers rocking bubbly season in a whole new way, both as party guest and host.
“There’s so much more to explore with Champagne beyond the typical celebratory toast,” said Hemer. “Before considering swapping the bubbly for another alternative with a meal, take a look at all the food options. There’s a good chance that Champagne is the ideal staple for sipping from party start to finish.”
Light Bites that Delight, Especially with Bubbles
When planning a holiday get together, it’s helpful to be aware of the host of appetizer dishes that pairs well with Champagne—from various cheeses like Brie, mascarpone, and camembert, to charcuterie, vegetables, and egg dishes. Its acidity cuts through all things creamy, such as creamy soups with mushrooms, cauliflower, and leeks. For these light, first course options, Hemer recommends a non-vintage style Champagne.
Crowd-Pleasing Main Dishes that Play Well with Fizz
Seafood and Champagne are known for being the perfect pair. An elegant Blanc de Blancs, made of 100 percent Chardonnay, partners with fresh oysters, shrimp, and lobster. Marry spaghetti and clams with Champagne, and the salinity of the fizzy drink brings out similar qualities in the clams. Raw fish lovers can enjoy a lighter style of Champagne, which fits well with ceviche and sushi.
For those with an appetite for something heartier, Champagne also stands up to roast pork and tartare of beef, for which a rosé Champagne, made of 100 percent Pinot Noir, makes a classic pairing. Braised and caramelized dishes also have a depth of flavor and complexity that Champagne can easily match.
“A main course of roasted pork tenderloin with wild rice and sautéed carrots served with a vintage rosé is exquisite,” shared Hemer.
Champagne is a winning combination with various cultural fare too. Its fizz complements spicier foods such as Indian and Thai. Traditional soul food picks like fried chicken can turn a simple dish into a feast when served with Champagne.
Sweet Treats and Bubbly
For dessert, Hemer recommends finishing up with a lightly sweet demi-sec wine, served with a zabaglione parfait with fresh berries. Berry-driven desserts paired with rosé Champagne are pleasing to the palate, while Brut Champagne and shortbread cookies make surprisingly ideal mates, with the Champagne cutting through the richness of the cookie. Honey-based desserts, crepes, and crème brûlée also match exceptionally well with bubbles.