This Friday (Oct 23) marks the 11th annual global Champagne Day. Besides sharing a bottle with family and friends, learning about the art of Champagne (see resources below), you can also try some delicious Champagne food pairings while playing a special Champagne playlist. Although it comes in a great variety, Champagne in general is surprisingly versatile to pair with different types of cuisines and tastes.
Know Your Dryness/Sweetness
First, pay attention to the sweetness/dry scale of your Champagne. If you are serving more than one bottle, start with the driest, working up to the sweetest.
The designations for Champagne from driest to sweetest are:
- brut nature (driest)
- extra brut
- extra dry/extra sec
- doux/sweet (sweetest)
Dry Champagne pairings
A dry champagne with rounded acidity could pair well with shellfish seafood, such as oysters, shrimps and lobsters, but also rich soft cheeses like brie or camembert, or even devilled eggs. For mains, try buttery dishes like a cream-based pasta, such as alfredo, or earthy dishes like a mushroom risotto, or even a vegetable galette. To finish, a classic shortbread butter cookie pairs splendidly with a dry Champagne. If you like something tart, lemon meringue, crepes or cheesecake could work too.
With a bit more body, Rosé Champagnes could take more meatier and savory dishes, such as smoked salmon, cold cuts like prosciutto, fattier fish like tuna steak, and dishes with a hint of spice, or even duck. For sweet endings, try chocolate with raspberries, or, of course, chocolate-dipped berries of your choice.
Champagne pairs well with many fruits that complement their undertones, especially berries, lemon and peach. For desserts, try some subtly sweet flavors with slightly buttery or creamy textures, such as lemon snap cookies, vanilla ice cream with blueberries, or simply a handful of toasted hazelnuts or almonds.
Guess what, you don’t need to break the bank for fancy oysters and Canapés to enjoy Champagne. Here are some everyday foods that Champagne complements just as well with:
- Anything fried, such as chips and potato fries, as the crisp acidity of Champagne cuts through the fattiness. The heavier the food, the more acidic the Champagne should be.
- Mac n’ Cheese: Use milder cheese so to not overwhelm the Champagne.
- Chili con carne: a Champagne can balance its spiciness and sweetness.
- Buttered popcorn with sweet Champagne
- Egg rolls with chili sauce
- A classic burger with pickles
Learn about Champagne!
And of course, don’t forget to share with family and friends and post photos on social media for #ChampagneDay!