Champagne. The king of all bubbles. Whether you are drinking a crisp blanc de blanc or a rich blanc de noir, there are a handful of mouthwatering Champagne food pairings from classic to avant-garde. A glass of bubbles is always charming, and a glass of classy bubbles with everything from an oyster to a pile of rippling salty potato chips is even better.
Why Champagne Is the Perfect Food Pairing
Aside from Champagne being good on its own, it has numerous characteristics that make it a great match for a variety of different food pairings. Firstly, spritzy bubbles are refreshing bursts across the palate that act as a cleanser, getting you ready for the next bump of flavor. Bubbles work particularly well with fried and spicy foods, helping to cut through fat and tame heat.
Secondly, dry Champagne has racy acidity. Acidity in wine is very food friendly as it is balanced by fat, salt, and sweet flavors. So the naturally high acidity in Champagne goes equally well with a tart lemon bar as it does with fried chicken. The acid balances out particularly salty or briny foods well too, making it a classic pairing for oysters and any sort of snacky foods like salted nuts, french fries, and popcorn.
Finally, Champagne falls into the mid-range when it comes to alcohol by volume or ABV. Often at around 12% ABV, it is just the right amount of kick without being overly boozy and luscious. The lower ABV combined with the bubbles helps keep it light and fresh feeling. In other words, it's well within reason to reach for that second glass when you leave the charcuterie board behind and sit down for the main course. A wine that can seamlessly go from solo to snack to meal is a clear winner.
12 Champagne Food Pairings: From Classic to Avant-Garde
From old-school to new-school, these food pairings are dream duos. Try putting your own twist on them, or creating your own Champagne pairings based on the following matches.
Champagne and oysters are a classic match. The salty, briny oyster paired with bright sparkling Champange creates that always desirable umami characteristic on the palate. If you're a purist, your raw oysters on the half shell will be perfect with a blanc de blanc. But if you are into char grilling your oysters and topping them with a myriad of things from herby lemon butter to melted mozzarella with dabs of chili oil, you can lean into a blanc de noir to play with the flavors.
Potato chips are the perfect combination of salt and fat. When paired with a brut or even extra-brut Champagne, it's a seriously delicious match. The acidity in the Champagne has the sharp hit needed for those salty, crunchy bites. While you might be tempted to get out those dill pickle or barbeque chips, good ol' fashion original will be the best match for this glass of bubbly.
Truffle Infused Mac & Cheese
A baked mac, browned and bubbly at the edge of the pan laced with truffle is seriously cozy and delicious. Not surprising, it's also pretty heavy - especially if you are nailing that cheese to noodle ratio. A brut has the bright acidity needed to cut through all that cheesy goodness and balance the whole ensemble.
Charcuterie boards are perfect wine foods. They are loaded with many salty savory treasures from Finocchiona to roasted almonds. They also typically have a variety of cheese from young cow Camembert to aged sheep Manchego. There is a lot going on, and Champagne can easily play across the field. The taut, rapid bubbles clean the palate beautifully in between bits of this and that.
Barbequed Pulled-Pork Sandwich
A little tangy, a little spicy, a little smoky, and a lot saucy, a barbequed pulled-pork sando is brilliant on its own and even better when paired with Champagne. When matched with a sharp blanc de noir, it really shines. The bubbles tame the heat and tie everything together.
Gruyère & Parmesan Soufflé
Have your bottle popped and ready for this one. Better yet, pour yourself a glass and start sipping while the soufflé has its final dramatic moments in the oven. Once you dip a spoon into this custardy, airy pillow and alternate bites with your bubbly, you'll see how Champagne mimics the lightness while bringing some much need acidity.
Fish & Chips
It's all about that salt and fat with this pairing. A flakey white fish, like cod, deep fried to golden perfection with a glass of Champagne is a great match. The acidity cuts the fat, and the bubbles leave your palate feeling bright and refreshed. When you're out and order this combo and get a strange look, hold your own and just know you are ahead of the game.
Arugula, Apricot, & Almond Salad With Goat Cheese
The sharp bite of fresh arugula paired with the nutty, fruit, and fatty bits of the almond, apricot, and goat cheese hit the whole spectrum of flavor and texture that plays into the natural profile of Champagne. If you have hazelnuts, or it's fall and apples are in season, make the substitution!
Grilled Pistachio Crusted Shrimp Skewers
That delicately charred aroma and flavor brings complexity to the tender shrimp while the toasted pistachios bring a bright element and play on the nuttiness in the Champagne. Give a good squeeze of lemon to finish the shrimp off, and you've got a great summery match for your al fresco dinner.
Spicy Deviled Eggs
You'll want to jazz up your grandmother's deviled egg recipe with a handful of fresh herbs like parsley, chives, and cilantro and a good squeeze of sriracha. The acidity and bubbles in the Champagne cut through that creamy richness of the egg and balance that little kick of tangy heat from the hot sauce. Then, do pay appropriate respect to your grandmother by serving them up on her old pewter platter.
Meyer Lemon Curd Tart
A Meyer lemon tart that is puckeringly sharp is brilliant with demi-sec Champagne. The tang and zest from all the lemons is bright and lively and pairs best with this medium-sweet Champagne that brings out the sweet notes in the dessert.
A seemingly odd yet classic pairing, Champagne and fried chicken are a great match for a couple of reasons. The zippy acidity from the Champagne is perfect at cutting through the richness of the fried food, while the bubbles wipe the palate clean and get you ready for your next bite. Texturally, that crispy crunchy golden outside of the chicken pairs with those yeasty brioche notes in the Champagne quite well. Go for a blanc de blanc and don't look back.
Best Foods to Pair With Champagne
Champagne is so versatile when it comes to food pairings that you can really get creative. Come up with some combinations that bring out the best of each for the strongest pairings. Whether you go with a classic or inventive match, the Champagne is guaranteed to elevate the whole gastronomic experience.