Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has offered holiday food pairing recommendations for every celebration’s best friend: Champagne.
“There’s so much more to explore with Champagne beyond the typical celebratory toast,” says Eric Hemer, Southern Glazer’s Senior Vice President and Director of Wine Education. “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. Champagne’s 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,” says 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.