So you’ve got the girls coming around for a few glasses of Champagne (or if you’re like me and budget challenged, it’s probably more likely to be sparkling wine, here is my guide to the Top 5 Sparkling Wines Under $10). Either way: Squeeeeee!
You need to serve up some decent food so that “Minerva” (may not be a real person but we all know a Minerva, don’t we?) doesn’t get hammed by 8.30pm and start over-sharing about her bad sex life and/or screaming for you to put on Rick Astley.
Happy now, Minerva?
Now, you know at CC we reckon Champagne goes with pretty much everything. But I reckon we can all do a bit better than the “I can’t be arsed” bog-standard platter of brie and rice crackers…without it having to be a huge ball-ache.
There are a number of foods (and you might find some pretty surprising) that will pair awesomely with fizz. With a little bit of planning, you can create a freaken awesome platter that will mindblow your guests and their taste buds.
There’s a range of different styles/types of Champagne and sparkling wine, all with different sugar levels. I’m not really going there right now, that shit can get complex really quickly. Instead I will be talking more generally because let’s face it, we’re busy women and probably don’t have time to get all bloody Masterchef about our Champagne pairing.
Here are a few simple do’s and don’ts that are useful to know when Champagne pairing:
- Don’t pair your bubbly with flavours that are too overpowering. You’ll want to avoid food that is overly spicy or bitter or sugary.
- Don’t go too heavy. Save your rich osso bucco casserole for another night (with red wine, mmmm). There’s a caveat to this: Vintage Champagne is a lot more full bodied and can be paired with food that is more substantial; for example, truffle risotto, duck ragout with rigatoni or grilled salmon (apparently Vegemite on toast can bring out the earthiness and the idea of eating Vegemite toast with Champagne really tickles us around here!).
- Do pair salty food with your sparkling, it provides a great counter-balance to the sugars and acid.
- Do go for crunchy foods, they match really well with the fizzy ‘texture’ of champs. Champagne and chips for the win!
- Don’t even think of calorie counting (not that we EVER do here at CC). If the fizz doesn’t put you over your daily limit then the delicious foods that match, will. Treat yourself – you deserve it!
And here are 15 of our favourite glam snacks to serve with Champagne & sparkling wine:
- crunchy crudites (for example, carrot, cucumber and celery sticks) and bread sticks with salty dip such as olive tapenade or taramasalata
- hard cheeses such as pecorino or cheddar with salty crackers
- lightly spiced buttery popcorn or plain potato chips (our personal favourite)
- fried chicken (I’m not shitting you, your mind = officially blown)
- raw seafood like oysters, sashimi, or caviar if you’re Mariah
- lightly cooked seafood like steamed barra, grilled scallops, smoked salmon, ceviche, whole fish wrapped in foil cooked on the BBQ
- Mexican snacks like fish tacos or crunchy chicken tostadas (make your squeeze of lime teensy-tiny because you don’t want too much acid)
- salt and pepper squid (use rice flour for a more delicate and gluten-free option)
- asparagus with hollandaise
- mac and cheese
- fresh prawn spring rolls
- thickly sliced or whole mushrooms fried in butter and a couple of sprigs of thyme
- crostini with salty toppings such as anchovy, olives, goats cheese, prosciutto
- scrambled eggs with truffle oil or eggs benny (a bit weird unless you’re doing brunch I guess. But I would highly recommend these combos. In fact you can take this as my blessing to imbibe at breakfast.)
- a little ‘dessert’ platter of berries, almonds, dark chocolate with sea salt.
What grabs you out of that lot? And if you have any crazy, fancy food ideas you love to pair with your bubbles, then let us know!