Champagne. It's not just for toasting anymore.
Truth is, sparkling wine loves food. Its acidity keeps the wine fresh and lively and the palate on alert. The lowish alcohol won't typically overwhelm food. It's always a great choice with appetizers. And sparkling wine does brunch better than any other booze. (Looking at you, Bloody Mary.) It's also terrific with a wide variety of main dishes.
So let these recipes be your big, bubbly guide to drinking Champagne any ol' time -- for brunch, lunch, dinner, and all manner of snacking in between. Pop the top, and have at 'em!
But first, a word about words. Champagne is a legally protected name. Technically speaking, Champagne refers only to sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France. Bubbles from anyplace else, we’re supposed to call “sparkling wine.” Certainly we've assured our attorney, Blanche Mirepoix, that we would never use the terms interchangeably, and we thank you for your understanding.
1. Potato Chips
Champagne has a little secret. Yes, it's the toast of the town and hangs in high society, but from time to time it's not afraid to go a little low-brow. OK, expensive Champagne might be a little chichi for this match-up (and many others below as well). For cheaper French bubbles, look for wine labeled crémant. From Italy, inexpensive prosecco is a smart choice. Spain offers cava -- a good deal. And in the United States, sparkling wines come from California, Oregon, Washington, New York, and even from less well-known places like New Mexico. Bonus: You can make these potato chips in the microwave.
Sparkling wine and sushi, it's an epic move. The wine can handle the soy sauce, the slightly vinegary rice, even the pickled ginger and wasabi. No problems, only opportunities.
So you’re sitting on the sofa, cramming popcorn into your face, watching trashy TV in your sweatpants. That’s cool. Sipping Champagne keeps it classy. Sparkling wine never tattles.
Chef John puts it like this: "These are what crab cakes are supposed to be -- basically a fried lump of crabmeat, held together with a minimum of filler. Delicious!" And doubly delicious beside a glass of bubbles.
Champagne is often described as having biscuit flavors and smells. You know what else has biscuit flavors and smells? Biscuits. Spread a little butter on your biscuit if you like. Also recommended, the Breakfast Biscuit.
Fried chicken and sparkling wine, they're kind of a quiet classic, a forbidden romance. And those biscuits above might be nice on the side. For brunch, try Chicken and Waffles.
The eggs, the bacon, the cheese. This brunch classic demands some bubble time. Don't deny it.
No way around it, sparkling wine loves the fried stuff. Here, the bubbles will tap dance across the tongue, playing to the textural brilliance (soft inside, crispy outside) of these twice-fried fries.
Sparkling wine loves and respects shellfish. But add some cheesy grits, and it's like marriage proposal time. See also, Baked Scampi.
A taste of Asia by way of the American Southwest. Pair it with some European bubbles, and you have 3 continents covered. Also recommended, Chicken Flautas.
Eggs in general say yes to bubbles. And deviled eggs are particularly welcoming. There's just no reason to say no.
The prep takes 5 minutes, the cooking 10 minutes. Dinner's ready in about the time it takes to open a bottle of bubbles.
Make this recipe with chicken, tofu, pork, or shrimp...no matter which way you go, the bubbles will love it. See also, more Thai recipes.
Crispy, crunchy, a little spicy...sparkling wine wants a piece of this action. See also, Pad Thai Popcorn.
Champagne with dim sum is epic. You might try sparkling rosé with these particular pot stickers; they're stuffed with ground beef and shrimp.
18. Strawberry Torte
Strawberries and sparkling wine are, of course, a famous combo. Add lady fingers and whipped cream...and you've just plain blown the doors off this whole pairing thing.