Sparkling Wine: The ‘Default’ Pairing Partner

duvalFor whatever reason, we don’t typically think of sparkling wine when it comes to pairing wine with food.

We tend to gravitate toward rich red wines to serve with beef… rich white wines to serve with fowl… and various other red, white and rosé-style wines to serve with other types of main courses, sauces and side dishes. No wonder our “Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes” archives are so packed!

But when it seems as if a dish won’t match well with any type of wine — whether because of the dish’s saltiness, its spiciness or its heat — sparkling wine makes an excellent “default” choice.

And to the ever-growing list of things that you can eat with Champagne or other sparkling wine, add raclette.

As Robert Reid described it in National Geographic Traveler, raclette is “basically gourmet nachos: cow’s milk heated open-air and served with potatoes, onions, cornichons and dried ham.”

He noted that Chateau de Villa, a castle built in the 1500s in Sierre, Switzerland, was one place to taste the melted morsels.

Because of the complexity of the flavors complementing the saltiness of the ham, sparkling wine would be an ideal libation to pour with raclette.

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You can read more about raclette in Robert Reid’s story here. And you can check out some sublime sparkling wine pairing partners here.

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