Let’s continue with our chat about pairing wine and food. Whites and reds each have their own set of guidelines but we can’t forget about the bubblies! These are a little different because they can be made from white and red grapes, however, their flavors come out in a more unique way than straight forward white or red varietals.
There is a very wide range of sparkling wines in terms of palate – some are super dry, some are very sweet, and everybody else lands in between. So while there are a couple of overall guiding principles to pairing the sparklers with food, much of it is related to the individual type. Don’t worry, we’ll explain it all.
You want a medium-dry sparkling wine for the creamy, fatty foods.
Sparkling wine ranges from Extra Brut (very dry) to Demi-Sec (very sweet) so for things like soft creamy cheeses or rich buttery dishes, you want to land in the middle. It’s important to have a little residual sugar (the natural sugars left after fermentation) but you don’t want it so sweet that it doubles down on the decadence.
Pair sweet with sweet but not with chocolate.
A demi-sec sparkling white is going to be a great friend to your desserts – just not the chocolate ones. Fruit-based and dairy-based luxurious desserts are going to be so well complimented with this sweet wine.
Go Spanish with your charcuterie board.
The Spanish Cava is a sparkling wine that is absolutely delightful with every element on a charcuterie board. They’re crisp and dry but have such pleasant fruit flavors that they’re excellent buddies with everything from the hard cheese to the cured meats and even the pickles. Plus they are just extraordinarily delicious on their own.
Salt is a best friend to Champagne.
Everything from fried chicken to potato chips to a bowl of ravioli will benefit from a nearby glass of Champagne. Inherently, Champagne is neither too sweet nor too dry, which explains why it is the queen of all sparkling wines. There is just enough acidity to mediate the salt and a balance of sweetness to not overpower it but to create a perfectly rounded palate.
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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