FRIED CHICKEN, POTATO CHIPS & CAVA
It has become increasingly popular to pair Champagne with fried chicken, one of those guilty pleasures (the calories in the chicken and the price of the Champaign satisfying the “guilty” half). And as classic a pairing as it is, why pay a premium for Champaign when there is stunningly delicious Cava for a fraction of the price and that makes for just as enjoyable a pairing (with only half of the guilt)?
This one follows the salt/acid rule, where the high acid in the wine balances out the fat and salt from the fried chicken on your palate. Replace fried chicken with potato chips and you have an equally delicious and equally compatible relationship between what you are drinking and eating. Both potato chips and fried chicken share the same evil but delicious fat and salt that is nature’s culinary temptress, and a little bubbly is the holy water that provides absolution.
Cava is to Spain what Champaign is to France. It is Spain’s version of a wine with bubbles, and usually at a fraction of the price of Champaign. It comes in all of the same styles of Champaign, so if you like Brut or Extra Brut or Rose or vintage, you can get the same with Cava. On a spectrum with Prosecco and Champaign, Cava isn’t as sweet as Prosecco can be, or as nutty as Champaign can be. Cava will give you rich floral, pear, and melon notes, with zesty citrus and the requisite high acidity that balances the fat and salt of the potato chips or fried chicken.