Why You Should Be Drinking Champagne With Your Fried Chicken

If you're into drinking wine, you've probably been faced with the looming question, "What should I pair with this dish?" While wine professionals design charts identifying the best matches, the ideal option is usually the one you enjoy. However, since we don't have the time to try every wine with every type of food, it's nice to have some advice from those who have ventured away from classic pairings.

Take a fine wine such as champagne, which is regularly paired with equally luxurious foods like caviar and oysters. How can the average consumer enjoy the versatile characteristics of the iconic beverage? If you're already splurging on the bottle, finding a budget-friendly option for food is definitely welcome. Enter the delicious combination of champagne and fried chicken.

Anyone who has experimented with the unlikely duo immediately realizes how well-suited they are. Dave Grohl is no exception, and he spoke with Uproxx about his discovery of the delicious match. While devouring some KFC, he thirstily reached for the closest beverage on hand, which happened to be champagne. According to the source, Grohl deemed it amazing and he and his crew added it to their regular repertoire. Aside from rockstars, Chef Abram Bissell at the Michelin-starred New York City restaurant The Modern agrees that the two make "a salient and delicious pairing." To make the acidity in the bubbles stand out, he accompanies the dish with pickled peppers.

Which bubbles should you pick?

Besides being considered by just about everyone in the know as "the ultimate high low pairing," Southern Living explains that the qualities of each are innately perfect matches. For the same reason that people often drink Coca-Cola with fried foods, the bubbles and acid in champagne make it an excellent palate cleanser for grease. Katie Morton, wine director at Vini e Fritti — which means wine and fried in Italian — tells Vinepair that the zingy crisp acidity in champagne makes your mouth water, refreshing it between each bite.

The only issue is that champagne tends to be expensive, making it less approachable for regular drinking. If not champagne, Southern Living recommends choosing a dry sparkling wine such as Cava and avoiding sweeter options like prosecco, which are made using a method that doesn't produce crisp bubbles. When looking for alternatives, Grub Street suggests picking bubbles made using the traditional method, which entails aging the wine on dead yeast cells, often labeled "sur lie." Though it might not sound like something you want around your wine, the yeast imparts aromas that the site describes as bread-like. In turn, these flavors make a fantastic match for fried breaded chicken.

Since fried food can vary widely depending on whether it has been battered, breaded, lightly fried, or deep-fried, if you plan to try this pairing beyond chicken, Morton suggests choosing higher acid bubbles to go with richer food and vice versa (via Vinepair).