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A Sparkling Guide To Your Summer BBQ

Whatever you plan to grill up this summer, Chandon has a wine to make your meal sparkle!

By: Domaine Chandon
July 2020

How To Pair What's on the Grill with What's in Your Glass

    What Makes a Great Pair?

    As one of the most universally food-friendly wines, sparkling is the perfect pair to upgrade your BBQ occasions (and each of the delicious bites on the menu). Texture and intensity of flavor are key to finding the perfect match. Are you enjoying a thick, juicy rack of ribs, or a light chicken salad sandwich? Does your food taste pleasantly subtle or unmistakably rich?


    On the wine spectrum, texture is where sparkling really shines, bringing bubbles into the mix. Are the bubbles dainty and light or intensely effervescent? Sparkling doesn’t typically have an overpowering intensity of flavor (making it great for food pairing), but it still has plenty of range within its category.


    As a general rule for pairing food with wine, opposites attract as do very similar flavors and textures. The rest is a matter of your preference.


    BBQ MEAT

    What's on the menu:

    Burgers, Lamb, Steak, Kebabs, Ribs, Brisket, Pork, Chicken


    Most grilled meats skew on the high end of intensity and texture, with chicken generally being lighter in both categories. If you have a food that is rich, savory and intense, like a juicy steak, your wine should match the rich texture and intensity so it doesn’t get overpowered.


    The acidity in most sparkling wine cuts through the fat in meat. Skew to bolder, more structured wines like Sparkling Red or Rosé for richer meats. Lighter selections like Blanc de Blancs pair best with lighter meats. These wines contain light, fruity notes that will match the meat’s rub, and intense enough flavors to stand up against any rich or smoky character.


    Our Favorite Pairings:

  • Sparkling Red: With smoky and savory red meat, especially when prepared with rich, intensely flavored sauces.
  • Rosé: With burgers - One of our Director of Winemaking favorites
  • Blanc de Blancs: With lighter selections like grilled chicken.
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GRILLED SEAFOOD

What's on the menu:

Salmon, Trout, Grilled Halibut, Shrimp, Oysters, Ceviche, Scallops


In the seafood category, finesse and elegance are key in choosing the perfect sparkling pair. Most fish and shellfish tend to be lighter and less textural, calling for lighter flavor profiles like Bruts and Blanc de Blancs.


However, for richer, more intense styles like salmon or trout, opt for a sparkling with a more pronounced character like Rosé.


Our Favorite Pairings:

  • Brut: With oysters or ceviche.
  • Blanc de Blancs: With halibut or scallops
  • Rosé: With salmon or trout.
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    DELICIOUS SIDES

    What's on the menu:

    Fresh Fruit, Salad, Potato Salad, Baked Beans, Coleslaw, Asparagus


    The side table possesses an element of surprise, as you never know what gems it may behold. When selecting a wine, you need a “catch-all” – one with enough intricacy to match any dish. Living on the edge of richness, acid, fruitiness, and complexity, Pet Nat is an excellent option, as is Brut or Blanc de Pinot Noirs.


    Finally, take note of the wine's texture. Because quality sparkling wines have little to no tannin, they generally have smooth, creamy finishes that linger on the palate for minutes.


    Our Favorite Pairings:

  • Pet Nat: With fresh fruit or (drum roll please) – asparagus – which many believe can’t be paired with wine.
  • Brut: With Caesar salad. We recommend Yountville Vintage Brut, which is particularly considered “a jack of all trades.”
  • Blanc de Pinot Noirs: With beat salad.
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    May We Suggest: