The Best Sparkling Wine for Sardines

3rd June 2021

The Best Wine for Sardines

As per usual, I am tasked with popping to the local supermarket to pick up some bread and milk and yet I come back with several bags full of foods and a receipt as long as your arm – “You were only meant to get two things” was the exasperated words thrown at me as I placed the bags down on the kitchen worktop.

Whenever I am out and about food shopping from superstores to market stalls, I am always working out great food pairings for some amazing sparkling wines we have in line to be reviewed. The fresh food counters are the most tempting with the fish, meats, cheeses and more all calling out and meriting the popping sound of a fine bottle of bubbly.

What I am leading up to is that I brought home unexpected sardines in my recent food shop and as I was researching the best sparkling wines to pair with sardines I found that not too many inspiring articles existed online to help me unravel this pairing combination.

Sardines seasoned with black pepper and also a squeeze of lemon

Sardines seasoned with black pepper and also a squeeze of lemon


Sardines and Sparkling Wine

Fish and meats are a wonderful pairing suggestion if you have a chilled bottle of bubbly to open, though we must be aware that some wines pair fair better with certain foods and importantly, how they are prepared and cooked also with variations to consider such as barbecued or spiced, creamy sauces or roasted etc.

Sardines are known to be a rich source of omega 3 and also strong in aromas and flavours when preparing for and cooking them. Depending on how they are cooked, they are also an oily option.

Interesting fact: Sustainable – “With the rise of farmed fish and overfishing, sustainability is also a problem. Thankfully, sardines are considered one of the most sustainable fish available. They are still abundant in the oceans and don’t show the same signs of deletion that many species are experiencing.” source wellnessmama

Great sparkling wines to pair with sardines will be white sparkling wines and those which have reduced sugars such as Extra Brut and Brut Nature styles. More of an acidic, mineral and citrus style over anything heavy of fruits or yeasty, bready styles. Of course, wine is a personal choice and preferences of course vary, these are my recommendations only and it sometimes pays you dividends to read up on a selection of opinions if you are to rely on other peoples experiences and advice.

Dolfo Spirito Extra Brut 2014

Dolfo Spirito Extra Brut 2014


For this dish in question I decided to use a Slovenian sparkling wine that impressed me much upon my last tasting and from what I think is the most magnificent wine region of the country – Goriska Brda

Dolfo Spirito Extra Brut 2014 – Tasting Notes: “Green fruits, wet stone, hay, soft citrus dough nose. Dry flavours. Minerals, wet stone, subtle citrus. Looking at my previous tasting notes, it’s spot on to that experience.

Sardines (oven baked in olive oil) seasoned with black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice – Pairing notes with Dolfo Spirito Extra Brut 2014: “A citrus / mineral burst initially allowing silky fresh sardine flavours in the mid length with a fresh and cleansed palate feel towards the end with lingering salty / citrus at the close.

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.