Why sparkling wine and chips are the best combination
Peasant Pairing #1 - The Intro. Embellish and elevate your wine experience at home with some flattering junk food.
Not all amazing food and wine pairings need to be christened by candlelight over white table clothes and accompanied by a three-figure bill. Peasant Pairings are something a colleague and I came up with to help exemplify the pairing experience in an affordable, non-pretentious environment.
I begin with a personal favorite of mine, SPARKLING WINE & CHIPS!
Whether you call them chips or crisps, there is no arguing the fact that they are cheap, available, and come in an infinite variety of flavors... Salt & Vinegar is my weapon of choice.
The more powerful factor in a pairing is often the food, and therefor we will categorize the forthright pairings by chip profile.
Sweet and/or Spicy Chips = Prosecco | Moscato d'Asti | Demi-sec Champagne
Anything notably spicy will bring out the bitterness and alcohol in a wine. Luckily the salty and starchy attribute of you chip will help soften those characteristics. As a result, you can use a spectrum of Off-Dry to Medium Sweet wines when paring with hot and spicy crisps. Chips that lean towards a more sweet profile will counter the sweetness of these wines and make them appear more dry and refreshing. Wines that are very dry and lack any residual sugar might come off more tart and flat after trying a particularly sweet treat.
Savory & Salty Chips = Ultra Brut or Brut Traditional Method Sparkling
Most chip flavors, and dryness levels in sparkling, fit in this category. "Traditional Method" wines encompass a vast array of sparkling, including Crément, Cap Classique, Champagne, Franciacorta, Cava, and a lot of Sekt and quality New World sparkling. These particular styles of wine will seem more aromatic, refreshing, rich, soft, and generally more enjoyable with a greasy, salty chip behind it. On the contrary, your chips will have more of a richness as well from your palate cleansing Brut.
Unique & Intensely Flavored Chips = Similarly Characterized Sparkling
Many new and creative flavors, like Dill Pickle and Thai Curry, create quite the challenge for us wine-pairing-peasants; but with great risk comes great reward! Serendipitously, wine consumers have been demanding more individuality in there wine, and because of this we can now purchase proper Lambrusco to go with your Smoked Hawaiian Onion Pork Rinds . Sekt of Grüner Veltliner to have with some Dill Pickle Chips or Lemon Pepper Rice Crisps. Pinot Gris Pétillant Naturel for your Jalapeño Lime nonsense... At this point, it's all trial and error, which is honestly one of the most fun an interesting parts of a pairing.
In the end, pairing food and wine has more to do with your personal taste than the science behind it. So please post your critiques, questions, and recommendations in the comments section.
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