Chatelaine Kitchen

Food And Wine Pairing: Salty Snacks And Sparkling Wine

Sommelier Sara d’Amato and our kitchen present November’s ideal match.

Saucy shrimp chips and crunchy olives

Saucy shrimp chips and crunchy olives. (Photo, Roberto Caruso.)

Sparkling wine is so wonderfully versatile that it pairs with just about everything. Sparklers such as champagne and cava are carbonated in the bottle by a process called secondary fermentation. This method is costly, but it generates very fine bubbles and an appealing yeasty flavour. Their bubbly texture and minerality mean these wines go especially well with salty, briny foods. As a bonus, saltiness in food enhances the wine’s delicate fruit and mellows its acidity.

Oysters and caviar are classic matches with sparkling, but even popcorn and potato chips will do. This month, we’re pairing it with Spanish-style tapas dishes. Try these wines with our saucy shrimp chips or our crunchy olives. They’re zesty, briny, salty and loaded with festive appeal. And since serving bubbles saves you the hassle of offering numerous wine selections with a buffet of dishes, this match is perfect for a cocktail party. Tip: Serve these wines quite cold (warm sparkling is almost impossible to uncork without a big bang and an overflow!).

Perfect pairing: Sparkling Wine

Graham Beck Brut Rose

Lively and well priced
Graham Beck Brut Rosé, from $21.

Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 wine

Fruity and playful
Benjamin Bridge Nova 7, from $25.

Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne

Elegant and splurge-worthy
Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne, from $69.