Why champagne and cheese are the perfect pair
Discover why champagne and cheese pairings work so well – and what cheese to serve with champagne.
Next time you’re breaking out the champagne as an aperitif, consider pairing it with cheese instead. For while a champagne and cheese pairing may not be the most obvious choice, it’s a deliciously tasty one. If you’ve ever tried champagne with fried foods, check our recipe for French Fried Chicken with Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, you’ll know that bubbles go really well with oily, salty dishes. They bring out its fruitiness and freshness, especially when it comes to brut, such as Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut. And since cheese is delightfully salty and rich, that makes it a perfect pair for champagne.
What’s the best cheese pairing with champagne?
For those wondering what types of cheese go with champagne, make this your mantra: the stronger the cheese, the heavier the wine should be. That means young champagnes with a nice acidity go well with lighter cheeses. And the brioche-like aromas you might find in richer, and often more aged champagnes, will go well with aged cheeses with nutty, salty tastes, such as Gouda or mature cheddar.
With that in mind, it’s worth putting Parmesan, Gouda and slightly aged goat’s cheeses on your hitlist of what cheese to serve with champagne. Try them together and discover how their complexity and texture combine in an explosion of flavour.
If you’re feeling inspired but unsure where to start, we have some ideas for you. Whether you’re a rosé lover or prefer a classic brut, these champagne and cheese pairings are sure to whet your appetite.
Brut champagne cheese pairings
Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut & Parmesan
The smoothness and slight salty note of this champagne goes beautifully with young hard cheeses, such as Parmesan aged for around 12 months, Comté or Salers. Alternatively, try a fresh goat’s cheese coated in ash, feta or burrata.
Ruinart Blanc de Blancs & Manchego
We think this champagne is a great pair with subtler, lighter flavours. Serve with Manchego cheese aged for a year or so, perhaps with quince paste on the side. Or enjoy it with cumin-spiced Gouda, peppered pecorino or that classic combination of burrata, basil and cherry tomato.
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label & Comté
With its yellow and white fruit nuances, Yellow Label champagne pairs well with Comté’s flavours of dried fruit, hazelnuts, almonds (choose one aged between 6-8 months for the fruitiest taste), Gouda, and Tomme de Montagne’s melting creamy texture, to magnify the champagne’s freshest notes.
Rosé champagne cheese pairings
Moët & Chandon Impérial Rosé & Goat’s Cheese
This champagne’s freshness and texture, as well as its saline hints, make it a great match with many types of cheese. We like it with ash-coated goat’s cheese, or feta... or why not pair it with Ossau-Iraty or a Langres cheese?
Ruinart Rosé & Tomme de Montagne
This champagne calls for a gentler style of cheese. With that in mind, try a melting, mild and creamy Tomme de Montagne, Comté or Red Leicester – one of our favourites – to set off Ruinart Rosé’s elegant style.
Veuve Clicquot Rosé & Ossau-Iraty
The champagne’s light saltiness and finesse is delightfully complemented by Ossau-Iraty. We’d serve it in small pieces with cherry conserve – a classic option for dessert at a champagne and cheese tasting. You can amplify the champagne’s fruity notes with those of Mimolette, or contrast them with the delicate creaminess of a fresh goat’s cheese.
Cheeses that demand different drinks
We like a rich, soft pungent cheeses as much as the next foodie. But while they’re delicious in their own right, you’ll probably enjoy them more with something other than champagne in your glass. If you’re serving bubbles, we’d suggest sticking to aged, hard cheeses or goat’s cheese. That way, both parts of the pairing can bring out the best in each other.