Matching Sparkling Wine with Food

Matching Sparkling Wine with Food

As with all wines, matching sparkling wine with food is a very personal choice. If you like it, it works. But there are always a few guidelines that can help to steer your choices in the right direction. Wines, ideally, should be a complement to food, with neither the wine nor the food overwhelming the other.

Sparkling wines are, by their very nature, fine and delicate. So they tend to work very well with appetisers, canapés and light starters before moving on to richer foods and more full-bodied wines. Not only that, but they can be a lovely, bubbly start to a meal which can help break the ice and get the conversation going. Sparklings are also perfect for picnics, encouraging a playful, celebratory mood.

Fresh natural oysters are a classic match with a glass of bubbles, as are lightly dressed prawns, seared scallops, smoked salmon blinis or sushi. Grilled crayfish, vegetable tarts and frittatas, watercress sandwiches and light chicken salads are also perfect partners.

But don’t feel that sparklings can’t continue through to the main course. Just be sure that sauces and accompaniments are not too acidic or strong in flavour. Complex flavours like duck, mushrooms and truffles are a match made in heaven with aged vintage sparklings, especially those more dominant in Pinot Noir.

Sparkling wines are often an equally good finish to a meal, refreshing the palate and offering a crisp, lighter alternative paired with bright, fruit-based desserts and mild, creamy cheeses.

Strawberries need little adornment when served alongside a sparkling wine for a timeless match, and fruit tarts and crumbles with pear, apple, peach or almond can be lifted to new heights of deliciousness. A light fruity sparkling is perfect with an oozing fresh Brie, while a more complex aged vintage pairs wonderfully with semi-hard nutty cheeses like Edam and Gouda and even full-bodied cheeses like Parmesan and Cheddar.


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