Contrary To Popular Belief, Strawberries And Champagne Don't Pair Well

The beloved pairing of strawberries and Champagne might seem like a match made in heaven, but they don't pair as well as you might think. We're not saying you should never enjoy the two together, because we're not the boss of you; what we're saying is if you try them together and they aren't great, we have the explanation for why the pairing isn't ideal.

Strawberries and Champagne don't pair well because the fruit's sweetness can bring out the acidity in the Champagne. Instead of getting a sweet and delightful bite, you might find your palate underwhelmed or even overwhelmed in the worst way. If you do pair strawberries and Champagne anyway, try going for something on the drier side, like an extra-dry bottle of Champagne. The drier beverage with the sweeter berries will give you a more well-balanced pairing.

This mismatched pairing is so popular is because Champagne used to be a lot sweeter and, therefore, the combination of flavors used to pair a lot better together. Back in the day, there weren't rules when it came to how much residual sugar Champagnes were able to have when the drinks first became popular. In modern times, there is more information and regulations when it comes to this. There used to be about 30 grams of sugar or more per bottle, whereas there is usually only around 12 grams of sugar or less in modern Champagne.

What champagne actually pairs well with

If you're looking for unconventional Champagne pairings that you can explore instead of using strawberries, we've got you covered. The most important thing to note when it comes to pairing Champagne with desserts or pretty much anything is its acidity and balance. And for an ideal Champagne pairing, it is important to match the flavor and weight of a drink to a dessert, which will help you create a more balanced combo. You can pair champagne with something similar in flavor or try something contrasting; we tend to prefer something similar, but feel free to experiment. 

An example of a great pairing would be a sweeter champagne with a milder dessert; think fruits, dairy, and nuts. Just imagine how great creamy strawberry panna cotta would pair with a robust champagne. Perhaps, you want to try something a bit more experimental with bubbly — might we suggest trying hot fried chicken or even steak. Fried chicken's spicy and salty flavors play well with the sweetness of a dry champagne. When it comes to steak, the surprise pairing works because the acidity in the drink helps cut through the fattiness of the steak.