The Best Dessert Pairings for Sparkling Wines & Champagne

9th August 2018


For those of us who delight in discovering how the incredible variety of sparkling wines pair with our favourite dishes, there’s simply nothing quite like finding that perfect pairing.

Much of the discussion around sparkling wine and Champagne pairings, however, is focussed around the savoury side of our diets. Grappling with big, meaty flavours, creamy sauces and earthy vegetables is something that the right glass of bubbly can do with aplomb, but what about the sweet end of the spectrum?

Desserts might not be an everyday treat, but when they are on the menu, what should you be looking to pair them with?

Whether you’re settling in for an indulgent solo night in with a meal and a bottle or preparing an elegant dinner party, here’s our advice on what sparkling wines you should be pairing with your desserts.

Champagne Dessert Pairings

Champagne is adored all over the world for its elegance, distinctive flavour and value as a food pairing. Why? Well, the natural acidity of Champagne cuts through cheese, cream, butter and fish beautifully, offsetting the natural heaviness of dairy products and offering a nice balance to fish dishes. It’s even good for balancing out heavier foods like the cheesy open meatball sandwich detailed by Deliveroo.

It’s the former trait that makes it an ideal pairing for cream and butter-based desserts. Panna cotta is a particular highlight, but any fruit-based desert like tarts or crepes can work beautifully too. Perhaps surprisingly, shortbread biscuits are also ideally suited to Champagne pairing also, thanks to the acidity of Champagne cutting through the at-times overly rich butter of the shortbread biscuits.

Rose Sparkling Wine Dessert Pairings

Whilst many (erroneously) consider rosé to be too sweet for a dessert pairing, it simply couldn’t be further from the truth. With the majority of rosé wines enjoying a delightfully dry palate, they make a remarkable pairing with a great many dishes.

In regards to dessert, sparkling rosé doesn’t suit cream-based desserts, but it does balance beautifully with chocolate – the darker the better. Dark chocolate cakes work beautifully with sparkling rosé, as do chocolate-covered fruits.

English Sparkling Wine Dessert Pairings

English sparkling wines have enjoyed a huge uptick in popularity in recent years, and for good reason – their quality has been rising consistently, pushing the old guard to up their own game.

With similar characteristics to Champagne and produced in a similar manner with yeast staying in the bottle to ferment further, it shares many of the same dessert pairings, suiting cream and milk-based desserts expertly.

Franciacorta Dessert Pairings

Italy’s rising sparkling wine star is Franciacorta. Increasingly found in dedicated wine stores and supermarkets around the world, Franciacorta boasts the same production method as Champagne and many of the same grapes used, however, the warmer weather in Franciacorta, Italy, ensure that the wine is lacking in the zest and minerality of Champagne.

Nevertheless, it retains the fabulous acidity of Champagne, making it the ideal pairing for cream based desserts. Cheesecakes are a favourite pairing with Franciacorta sparkling wines, as are Gelato ice creams – an Italian staple which benefits greatly from the cool, refreshing acidity of the Franciacorta wines.

Glass of Bubbly

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