Sparkling wines don’t get the credit they deserve.
They are delicious, diverse, and downright perfect for pairing, but most folks only drink them on rare occasions. But as Riley can attest, my perfect date night (or Monday night, for that matter) starts with a glass of bubbly because I simply can’t get enough of the complexity of flavors, aromas, and textures within each glass. And, most importantly, because it turns a regular evening into something special. At Le Cordon Bleu, I was trained to open a bottle of Champagne as quietly as possible, with no more sound than a “nun tooting in a church” (true story), but honestly, that’s silly in real life. I say, pop that cork loud and proud, and get your party started!
While sparkling wines are certainly a welcome guest during the cocktail hour of an evening, they can easily be paired with food as well. A simple wine pairing rule to follow here is that you should match a sweet dish with a wine that's at least as sweet. (Which is why “dry” champagne makes such a poor pairing with cake.) This juicy sparkling Gamay from the Loire Valley in France is bursting with ripe strawberries and cherries, balanced with satisfyingly tart lemon, all wrapped up with a luxurious creamy texture on the finish. It’s just slightly sweet, so it’s perfect for pairing with desserts or dishes with only a hint of sweetness. And don’t worry if you find yourself downing a glass rather than sipping it slowly - it’s perfectly natural when something is so darn delicious!