Why Potato Chips And Champagne Make The Perfect Pairing, According To A Sommelier

Although not explicit, lines are often drawn around the kinds of drinks we serve with snacks and appetizers. We usually bust out our best starters for champagne – pâté, oysters, a charcuterie board. Potato chips, on the other hand, go with casual pairings, such as beer — or sparkling water if we're feeling fancy. While potato chips and champagne seem like they're on opposite sides of the spectrum, according to a sommelier, they're the perfect match.

Potato chips have a reputation for being low-key, but they're actually eaten with wine quite often. There are all kinds of wine and potato chip pairings, and according to Troy Bowen, the owner and sommelier of Noble Riot, it's potato chips' greasy composition and champagne's effervescence that makes the two such a great match. "Acid in wine makes your mouth water and bubbles break up fats and solids in a way that clears your palate and makes you fresh and ready for more fat and salt," Bowen explained. "Potato chips and champagne can provide a Happy Hoop of luxurious, rich, lush flavors and textures, followed by a refreshing, clean mouth reset over and over."

While you may tire of potato chips' fatty flavor when eating them on their own or when sipping them with something rich and heady like beer, champagne has a lively flavor that wipes the slate clean, allowing you to indulge in more potato chips. "What could be better than an amazing party, an amazing shower, and another amazing party and another amazing shower, all in your mouth?" Bowen asked.

How to pair potato chips with champagne

There are various types of champagne, each with its own unique flavor profile and nuances. A bag of classic potato chips would taste incredible with any bottle you have on hand, but if you're exploring different flavors of champagne and chips, it's good to know the basics of a few champagne varieties. For example, bubbly with a higher sugar content like doux champagne is often classified as a dessert wine, making it best-suited for pairing with sweeter snacks. Something like chocolate-covered potato chips or sweet potato chips would match well with its sugary taste.

If you have potato chips that are quite indulgent, a crisp champagne that cuts through the richness is exactly what's needed. Brut nature champagne has a lower sugar content and is known to be quite sharp. Its refreshing quality goes head to head with umami snacks like cheddar cheese or truffle-flavored chips. 

And something simple and refined, like salt and vinegar or just plain sea salt-flavored potato chips, pairs well with a champagne that's a lot more playful. Rosé is typically a blend of red and white wine, producing a bubbly that's full-bodied with a fruity, light touch. It brings a lot of flavor to potato chips but maintains a crispness that doesn't distract from the vinegar notes in the chips.