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Sparkling Wine Pairings

by Joy Sterling | Published June 11, 2022

Sparkling Wine Pairings with Iron Horse Vineyards

Sparkling Wines go with everything … and that’s true, but there are certain pairings that make for elevated experiences, when both the bubbly and the food taste better. Here are some of my favorites. All tried and true!

Under the “who knew” category – Sparkling Wine Pairings with cheese

This is not so farfetched as it sounds. A classic French hors d’oeuvres is Sparkling and gougères (cheese puffs), baked savory choux pastry with grated Gruyère, Comté or Emmentaler.

For a cheese plate, André Compeyre, Chef Sommelier and Manager at Aldo Sohm Wine Bar in New York City, recommends Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée with Couple, a creamy Vermont goat’s milk cheese that has hints of earthy aromas.

We recently had a tasting with some of Cowgirl Creamery’s finest and found that Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut was the most universal, but the Wedding Cuvée stood out with their Red Hawk triple crème. That sparkling wine pairing needed the more fruit-forward character of this bubbly to carry the bolder flavors of the cheese.

Tomatoes are a fruit

Perhaps most unexpected Sparkling Wine pairing of all: Bubbly and tomatoes – especially our Russian River Cuvée. It’s an unlikely but delicious sparkling wine pairing, thanks to the slightly sweeter dosage of this particular Sparkling Wine.

Current Personal Faves

Of course, nothing beats such classics as bubbly and oysters, bubbly and potato chips, and bubbly (most especially Joy! in magnum) with tree ripened summer peaches.

Also surprising, is bubbly and Mexican food

Fish tacos and guacamole with chips, anyone? As a rule of thumb, nine times out of ten, bubbly is a level up from beer. Sparking pairs with spicy food and everything fried, but perhaps unexpected is how beautifully it pairs with avocado. The reason is umami. Sparkling Wine, because of the aging process, is rich in amino or fatty acids resulting in that special “deliciousness” that naturally pairs with umami rich foods like avocado. Or sushi!

Foods that have a strong umami flavor include meats, shellfish, fish, fish sauce, sardines and anchovies, mushrooms, and soy sauce.

With all my very best,