Many of us strive for that perfect food and wine pairing, the one that enhances the flavors of both the food and the wine. And I have to tell you that one such perfect pairing is sparkling wine and potato chips. Really? Really!
When I was in Barcelona some 10 years ago, I happily discovered this sparkling wine and potato chip pairing. How did I do that? By visiting Cava bars, which you can find on just about every street in Barcelona. Barcelona happens to be 45 km from where Spanish sparkling wine, known as Cava, is made. So Barcelona takes advantage of this geographic connection by prominently featuring their yummy bubbly wine.
What I loved about Spanish Cava bars was that you would typically order a flight of Cava, and get your flight served up with freshly baked potato chips. The combination of the potato chip’s oil and salt with the sparkling wine’s acidity was perfect.
According to Food&Wine, “Salt and fat both love Champagne (and vice versa)—the wine’s high acidity and the prickle of those bubbles are the ideal preparation for the next chip, and the next, and the next, and so on.”
Now you might be used to pairing Champagne or sparkling wine with classy dishes, so you might think that pairing sparkling wine with potato chips is a bit uncouth. SvelteGourmand reassures us that “Low-brow food can be the perfect match for high-brow wine. The effervescence of the wine, especially a sec (dry) sparkler, clears the palate of the fried fat of the chips.”
The sparkling wine/potato chip combination is a perfect reminder that pairing rules are meant to be broken, that they are guidelines at best.
Since discovering sparkling wine and potato chips, I’ve often found myself watching a football game or other sports event thoroughly enjoying the combination. And I giggle to myself over what a weird match it is.
If you haven’t tried sparkling wine and potato chips, I highly recommend that you do so. If you have any unusual pairings that you love, please share those here. Thanks.