Mavrodaphne

  (Mahv-roe-DAHF-nee)
Synonyms: Mavrodafni, Mavrodaphne of Patras

Wine Name: Mavrodaphne, Marvrodaphne of Patras

Background: Mavrodaphne is a black grape of the Greek Peloponnese that is most often made into a sweet dessert wine like a Port, but it tastes more rustic and has herbal flavors. Fermentation is arrested before completion with a grape distilled spirit as Ports are and then it is aged in barrels in a solera system.

Classic Brands and Sources: Achaia Clauss, Antonopoulos Vineyards, Boutari, Kourtaki, Tsantali

Characteristics:

Style – typical

Body – full

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – sweet

Tannins – medium (+)


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs with food similarly to what a Tawny Port would pair with such as chocolate, nuts and cheeses.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Crème Bruelee, pies and desserts made of Apple, Apricots, Pecans, Cherries, or Mince; Almonds, Hazelnuts, Biscotti, Dried Figs, Vanilla Ice Cream

Cheese Pairings:
nutty flavored cheeses such as Gruyere, Emmenthal, Swiss, Fontal, Maasdam,

Marsala

  (mar-SA-luh)
Synonyms: None

Wine Name: Marsala Fine, Marsala Vergine, Marsala Vergine Stravecchio, Marsala Dolce

Background: Marsala is a fortified wine of western Sicily that is made similar to Sherry and Port. It uses the Grillo, Inzolia, Catarratto and Damaschino white grape varietals for Oro (gold) and Amber Marsala and Pignatello, Calabrese, Nerello Mascalese, and Nero d’Avola for rubino (ruby) Marsala. It contains about 15-20% alcohol by volume and comes in different sweetness levels: secco, semisecco and sweet.

Marsala wines are also classified according to their different levels of aging: Fine (one year or less), Superiore (two years), Superiore Riserva (4 years), Vergine (five years), Vergine Stravecchio Riserva (ten years). In recent decades the market for Marsala and its quality levels have declined.The most important ones as fine wines other than for cooking are Vergine and Vergine Stravecchio.

Classic Brands and Sources: Italy – Cantine Florio, Cantine Pellegrino, Lombardo, Marco de Bartoli, Woodhouse ; California – V Sattui

Characteristics:

Secco

Body – medium

Acidity – low

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

Semi-secco

Body – medium (+)

Acidity – medium (-)

Sweetness – semi-sweet

Tannins – medium (-)

Semi-secco

Body – medium (+)

Acidity – medium (-)

Sweetness – semi-sweet

Tannins – medium (-)

Sweet/Dolce

Body – full

Acidity – perceived low

Sweetness – sweet

Tannins – medium


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Sweet versions are used mostly for dessert wines and cooking. Drier versions are used for apertifs and also for cooking.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Dry – Smoked meats, walnuts, almonds, assorted olives, soft goat cheese
Sweet – Chocolate cake, tarts and truffles, dark chocolate, hazelnuts, walnuts

Cheese Pairings:
Dry – Smoked gouda , Gruyere, Swiss, Fontina, Emmenthal, Danbo,
Sweet– Blue Cheese, Stilton, Brie, Camembert, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, Grana Padano

Madeira

  (muh-DEER-uh)
Synonyms: None

Wine Name: Rainwater, Sercial, Verdelho, Bual (Boal), and Malmsey Madiera

Background: Madeira wines are similar to Ports and Sherries in that they are fortified and intentionally oxidized. Madeira is also heat treated which speeds up oxidation and turns the white wines brown. Generally the grapes are fermented either to dryness and then have distilled grape spirit added or the fermentation is arrested with distilled grape spirit (Bual and Malmsey). The wines are then aged usually in old wood and subjected to the heated estufas or age in warm sunny areas.

There are quite a few styles of Madeira and also there are different quality levels of aging ranging from bulk wines to 3 year old, 5 year old, 10 year old, Extra Reserve (> 15 years), Colheita ( from a single year’s harvest), and Frasqueira (single harvest aged 20 years or more). Grapes used to make Madeira are Tinta Mole, Sercial, Verdelho, Bual and Malvasia (for Malmsey style).

Classic Brands and Sources: Cossart Gordon, Blandy, Sandeman, Leacock, Pereira D’Oliveira, Henriques & Henriques, Vinhos Barbeito

Characteristics:

Sercial

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

Rainwater

Body – medium (-)

Acidity – high

Sweetness – off dry

Tannins – low

Verdelho

Body – medium

Acidity – high

Sweetness – off dry

Tannins – low

Bual

Body – medium (+)

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – semi-sweet

Tannins – low

Malmsey

Body – full

Acidity – medium (-)

Sweetness – sweet

Tannins – medium (-)


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
All styles are mostly used as apertifs and dessert wines. Rainwater, Sercial and Verdelho styles are acidic and pair with acidic dishes, whereas the sweetness in Bual can pair with spicy dishes and Malmsey goes more with desserts, nuts and cheeses.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Rainwater, Sercial and Verdelho – Salads with vinegarettes and walnuts, blue cheese, game, goose, duck, veal with acidic marinades or sauces
Bual – Pairs with spicy Pacific Rim, Mexican and South American foods, figs, dates, cured meats.
Malmsey – Crème Bruelee, Caramel-based desserts Pies of Apple, Apricots, Pecans, Cherries, or Mince; Almonds, Hazelnuts, Biscotti, Dried Figs, Vanilla Ice Cream

Cheese Pairings:
Rainwater, Sercial and Verdelho – Boursin herbed, Brick, Derby, Feta (sheep’s milk), goat cheese, Gouda, Havarti, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Bucheron (French goat cheese), dry Jack cheese, Cream cheese, Neufchatel , Saint -Felicien (French cow;s milk cheese), Raclette, Pave Affinois
Bual – Brie, Camembert, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, Grana Padano
Malmsey – Blue Cheese, Stilton, and nutty flavored cheeses such as Gruyere, Emmenthal, Swiss, Fontal, Maasdam

Sherry

  (SHARE-ree)
Synonyms: Jerez, Xérès

Wine Name: Fino, Manzanilla, Manzanilla Pasada, Amontillado, Oloroso, Amoroso, Palo Cortado, Jerez Dulce

Background: Sherry is a low acid, intentionally oxidized wine made in the Andalucia area of Spain. The main grapes are Palamino (95%), Pedro Ximénez and Muscat of Alexandria. Slightly different than Port production, the grapes are fermented to dryness and then distilled grape spirits are added to bring the alcohol content to about 15-15.5% for finos, manzanilla, amontillados and to 18% for olorosos, cream and pale cream sherries. The finos and manzanillos (a fino from the area of Sanlúcar de Barrameda) age in barrels with a flor yeast that sits on top of the wine and protects the wine from too rapid oxidation and gives some flavor. If the flor yeast dies off, the wine then becomes darker due to more rapid oxidation and is classified as a amontillado or in the case of manzanillas from Sanlúcar de Barrameda it becomes a manzanilla pasada. Further aging results in bottling both as Amontillado Sherry.

Oloroso sherries are fortified to a higher percent at which flor yeast cannot survive, turn darker with more rapid oxidation and the evaporation in the solera barrel aging process can raise the percent alcohol as high as 24%. Cream and Pale Cream sherries (decolored Cream sherry) have sweetening agents such as concentrated Pedro Ximénez or even Palomino grape juice added to them. A category inbetween finos and olorosos is one called palo cortado which is a fino or manzanilla that never developed the flor yeast and thus is aged as an oloroso. It has the elegant taste of the amontillado with the heavier body and strength of an oloroso.

Fino sherries taste of almonds, green olives and Manzanilla sherries the same with some additional saltiness from proximity to the sea. Amontillados may have hints of hazelnuts, cedar and slight tones of honey. Oloroso sherries will be sweeter and have tastes of figs, other dried fruit, maple syrup and roasted nuts. Cream and Pale Cream Sherries also taste of nuts and carmel and are moderately sweet.

Classic Brands and Sources: Hidalgo, Sandeman, Gonzales Byass, Osborne, Bodegas Williams & Humbert, Bodegas M.Gil.Luque, Hijos de Rainera Pérez Marin, Bodegas Antonio Barbadillo, Pedro Romero, Harveys, Terry

Characteristics:

Fino, Manzanilla Body – medium (-)

Acidity – low

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

Amontillado Body – medium

Acidity – low

Sweetness – dry to medium (-)

Tannins – low

Palo Cortado Body – medium to medium (+)

Acidity – low

Sweetness – medium

Tannins – low

Oloroso Body – medium (+)

Acidity – low

Sweetness – medium (+)

Tannins – low

Cream, Pale Cream Body – full

Acidity – low

Sweetness – sweet

Tannins – low

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
The lighter sherries pair well with low acid/savory foods while the sweeter and fuller styles do well with nuts and cheeses and sweeter desserts.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Finos, Manzanillas and Amontillados – many vegetables not in acidic sauces, nut breads, fish, oysters shellfish with savory sauces, paella, clam and lobster chowders, potato, broccolli and other vegetable with creamor cheese-based soups.
Palo Cortado, Olorosos – desserts with nuts, Flan, cookies, biscotti, pumpkin and sweet potato pie
Cream, Pale Cream – Pecan pie, Cream Bruleè, ice cream

Cheese Pairings:
Finos, Manzanillas and Amontillados – Gruyere, Swiss, Fontina, Emmenthal, Danbo,
Palo Cortado, Olorosos – nutty flavored cheeses such as Gruyere, Emmenthal, Swiss, Fontal, Maasdam, Cream Cheese, Neufchatel,
Cream, Pale Cream – Blue cheese, Stilton, Gorgonzola, mild Cheddar, Cambozola, Manchego, Murcia al Vino, Mahon, Fourme D’Ambert

See also Appetizers for Sherry

Port

 
Synonyms: Porto, Vinho do Porto

Wine Name: Tawny Port, Vintage Port, Ruby Port, White Port, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Port, Colheita Port

Background: Port is a fortified wine from Portugal that is a blend of grapes, fermented not to completion but arrested with a neutral grape distilled spirit or brandy that kills off the yeast and stops the fermentation while sweet grape juice is still present. Then it is placed in barrels (for Tawny and Vintage Ports) for about two years to age, or in cement or stainless steel tanks (Ruby, White and Rosé ports). After the short aging time, the port wine is either further aged in barrels (Tawny, Coheita or LBV Ports) for extended periods of time such as 10, 20 30 or 40 years or more, or the wine is bottled. Ruby, White and Rosé Ports are then released for sale not too long after that, while Vintage Ports which are unfiltered are allowed to age further in the bottle. The Tawny Ports that have aged in barrels for a long time are either quite settled out or are filtered before bottling and since they were exposed to prolonged but very slow oxidation in the barrel, they can be opened and do not need to be decanted nor consumed quickly. Vintage Ports, however, benefit from being decanted due to sediment and should be consumed within a day or two since they will undergo rapid oxidation.

Classic Brands and Sources: Churchill, Cockburn, Croft, Dow, Fonseca, Graham’s, Niepoort, Smith Woodhouse, Taylor Fladgate, Quinta do Noval, Ramos Pinto, Sandeman, Warres Otima

Characteristics:

Tawny

Body – full

Acidity – perceived low

Sweetness – semi-sweet

Tannins – medium

Vintage

Body – full

Acidity – perceived low

Sweetness – semi-sweet

Tannins – medium (+)

Ruby

Body – full

Acidity – perceived low

Sweetness – medium

Tannins – medium

White

Body – full

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – sweet

Tannins – low to medium (-)


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Generally, Ports are meditation wines consumed alone without foods. They pair well with chocolate desserts most aged cheeses and nuts

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:

Tawny ports – Crème Bruelee, Pies of Apple, Apricots, Pecans, Cherries, or Mince; Almonds, Hazelnuts, Biscotti, Dried Figs, Vanilla Ice Cream
Vintage Ports – Chocolate cake, tarts and truffles, dark chocolate, hazelnuts, walnuts
Ruby Ports – Chocolate Mousse, chocolate pudding, Mud Pie, fruit salads
White Ports – Olives, Sushi, Clam Chowder, Fish Cakes, Smoked Salmon, Spicy Prawns, Duck/Chicken Liver Pate, Cheese Biscuits

Cheese Pairings:
Tawny ports – nutty flavored cheeses such as Gruyere, Emmenthal, Swiss, Fontal, Maasdam,
Vintage Ports – Blue Cheese, Stilton, Brie, Camembert, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, Grana Padano
Ruby Ports – Mild and medium sharp Cheddar, Cambozola, Manchego, Murcia al Vino, Mahon, Fourme D’Ambert
White Ports – Gruyere, Swiss, Fontina, Cream Cheese, Neufchatel, Danbo,

Ice Wine

 
Synonyms: Icewine, Eiswein

Wine Name: Ice Wine, Icewine, Eiswein, Vin de Glace, Vin de Glacière, Vin Glace

Background: Ice wine is made from grapes that have been frozen on the vine and usually harvested in January in the northern hemisphere. The water in the grapes freezes leaving behind the sugars and solids with a resulting sweet syrup with high sugar content. Because of the high sugar content which lowers the freezing point of the grapes, temperatures of 17 deg F (-8 deg C) must be reached to freeze the grapes enough for extraction. Some countries allow cryo extraction, i.e., an artificial freezing but the leading ice wine producers in Canada and Germany require freezing naturally on the vine. The crushed grapes are then fermented (which takes months due to the high sugar content) although not to completion since wine yeasts die off after about 15% alcohol is reached. The grapes are not afflicted with botrytis mold (noble rot) that dehydreates the grapes as is the case for Sauternes from France, Tokaji from Hungary or Trockenbeerenauslese from Germany.

Almost any grapes can and have been used to produce ice wine but the most common ones are Riesling, Vidal Blanc, and Cabernet Franc. Other grapes that are sometimes used include Pinot Gris, Seyval Blanc, Chardonnay, Kerner, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah (Shiraz), Semillion, and Sangiovese.

Classic Brands and Sources: Canada – Inniskillin, Reif Estates, Pillitteri Estates, Peller Estates, Pelee Island Winery, Tinhorn Creek Estates, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Ziraldo Estate; USA – Cave Spring, Konzlemann, Bonny Doon, King Estates, Gordon Brothers, Poet’s Leap, Mission Hill; Austria – Andau; Germany – Selbach-Oster, Hans Wirsching, Dr Loosen, H. Dönnhoff, Grans-Fassian, Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler, Joh. Jos. Prüm, Johannishof, C. von Schubert, Robert Weil;

Characteristics:

Style #1 – Typical from white grapes

Body – full

Acidity – high but perceived medium

Sweetness – sweet

Tannins – low to medium (-)

Style #2 – Typical from red grapes

Body – full

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – sweet

Tannins – medium to medium (+)


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Ice Wines are often best on their own without food. If taken with food, white dessert wines do best with desserts without milk or dark chocolate that are less sweet than the ice wine. Red dessert wines do better with chocolate or nut based desserts. “Ice Wine as dessert is better than dessert.”

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
White wine based ice wine – pairs with apple pie or fritters, oysters, paté, peaches, pears, strawberries, French toast, flan, Creme Brulee, cheese cake.
Red wine based ice wine – would go with chocolate mousse, nuts such as almonds, hazlenuts, walnuts and pecans, baked strawberry, rhubarb, and cheese based desserts.

Cheese Pairings:
Blue cheeses such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola, hard cheeses such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, Grana Padano, aged Chevre

Sparkling Reds, Rosé

 
Synonyms: Sparkling Reds, Rosé

Wine Name: Rosé Champagne, Sparkling Rosé, Blush Sparkling, Blush Prosecco, Cava Rosé, Sparkling Rosé Moscato, Brachetto d’ Acqui, Lambrusco, Sparkling Rosé Shiraz/Syrah, Sparkling Rosé Malbec

Background: Sparkling red and rosé wines as a group have quite a range of styles. They range from very dry rosé Champagnes such as a Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé, to light red wines with residual sweetness such as a Brachetto d’ Acqui or Lambrusco, to a full-bodied sparkling red wine such as a sparkling Shiraz. Blush wines of sparkling Moscato, Rieslings and almost any other popular grape are made from dry to off dry and sweet versions.

Basically the addition of red wine to add color and flavor or the fermentation of red grapes leaving the skins in the must add tannins to the taste of the sparkling wine. These tannins add a little astringency to the wine which acts as a palate cleanser while at the same time will allow the wine to pair better with fat in red meats (beef, lamb, game) and salty foods. When the wine is finished with residual sugar either to off dry, semi-sweet or sweet levels, better pairings with spicy hot foods and sweet foods are possible.

Classic Brands and Sources: Numerous brands and from most winemaking countries.

Characteristics:

Style #1 –

Body –

Acidity –

Sweetness –

Tannins –

Style #2 –

Body –

Acidity –

Sweetness –

Tannins –


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Sparkling reds and rosés go with foods just as their non-sparkling counterparts do based mostly on the acidity of the wine and food and the weight of the wine and food. If the sparkling wine is made in the traditional Champagne method and spends any degree of time on the yeast lees, the toastiness, bread and yeast flavors contribute a savoriness to the wine that allows it to pair better with less acidic and more savory dishes.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Dry rosé – Pairs with lamb, beef, veal, pork and salmon dishes with acidic sauces.
Off dry rosé or light red – Pairs with Pacific rim, Mexican and South American cuisine and any lightly spiced dishes.
Semi-sweet red – Matches well with savory dishes either cream, butter or cheese-based as well as tomato dishes or spicy cuisine.
Full-bodied sparkling red – Pairs well with medium to full-bodied savory to medium acid dishes

Cheese Pairings:
Dry rosé – Brie with rind, Brin D’Amour, Camembert with rind, Emmental, Feta, Garroxta, most goat cheeses, Muenster, Raclette, Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, Swiss, Vacherin
Off dry rosé or light red – Brick, Colby, Double Glouster, Edam, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Langres, Vermont Shepard
Semi-sweet red – any rich cheese, blue cheeses, “cheese cake”
Full-bodied sparkling red – Mild Cheddar, Edam, Glouchester, Manchego, Muenster, Provolone (aged), Parmesan, Pecorino, Roncal, Smoked Gouda

Sparkling White Wines

 
Synonyms: Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, sparkling wine, California sparkling wine, Cava, Champagne, sparkling moscato, sparkling riesling, Cremant, Prosecco, Vinho Verde

Wine Name: Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noir, Cava, Champagne, sparkling moscato, sparkling riesling, Cremant, Prosecco, Spumante, Francicorta, Vinho Verde

Background: European countries such as France (Champagne, Cremant), Italy (Prosecco), Germany (Sekt), Spain (Cava) have trademarked names for their sparkling wines whereas most of the new world wine producers do not. They just call their wines “Sparkling” and their location such as California, New York, Australia, Chile, Argentina etc. These wines can be made by the traditional Champagne method or several different techniques such as the Charmat or tank method, the transfer method or simply by adding carbon dioxide with machine carbonation. The longer a wine is left on its lees (dead yeast cells) the more toasty and bready the taste becomes and the finer the bubbles appear in the wine.

Classic Brands and Sources: Numerous brands in almost every wine producing country

Characteristics:

Brut Nature Body – light

Acidity – dry

Sweetness – dry – no added sugar 0-3 g/l

Tannins – low

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Prosecco

  (pro-SEKKO)
Synonyms: Glera

Wine Name: Prosecco, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Prosecco di Conegliano, Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Cartizze

Background: Prosecco is the name of the grape used to produce Prosecco wine. Most of the wines are made with the second fermentation that produces the carbonation being performed in a pressurized tank rather than in the bottle as Champagnes are. This preserves the fruitiness and crispness of the wine without introducing the toasty, bready flavors. Two main styles are made: the “frizzante” style with 1-2 atmospheres of carbon dioxide pressure and the “Spumante” version with fuller aromas, more body and more carbonation.

The best Proseccos come from the Conegliano and the Valdobbiadene alpine regions north of Venice Italy. The most common ones are either dry or off dry although some sweeter versions exist. The wines have good acidity with a light creamy flavor and hints of peaches and almonds. Prosecco is the main component of a Bellini cocktail (together with some white peach juice) made famous by Harry’s Bar in Venice.

Classic Brands and Sources: Adami, Bellenda, Bernardi, Bisol, Bortolin, Cantine Maschio, Carpenè Malvolti, Mionetto, Col Vetoraz, Le Colture, Nino Franco, Riondo, Angelo Ruggeri, Ruggeri, Tanoré

Characteristics:

Dry

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

Off Dry

Body – light

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – off dry

Tannins – low

Semi-Sweet

Body – medium

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – semi-sweet

Tannins – low


Wine and food pairing guidelines:

Often consummed on its own without food. With food, the dryer styles go well with fish, shellfish and lighter meat dishes with acidic sauces. Sweeter versions can go with heavier dishes that have spice or hotness or sweetness.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Dry styles – light fish, shellfish, chicken, pork with citrus-based sauces
Off dry styles – chicken, pork, veal with spicier sauces, Pacific rim foods, Mexican foods
Semi-sweet, sweet styles – dessert dishes
Rosé dry or off dry styles – beef and lamb dishes and dishes with slight spiciness

Cheese Pairings:

dry – Brie with rind, Brin D’Amour, Camembert with rind, Emmental, Feta, Garroxta, most goat cheeses, Muenster, Raclette, Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, Swiss, Vacherin
off dry – Brick, Colby, Double Glouster, Edam, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Langres, Vermont Shepard
sweet – any rich cheese, blue cheeses, “cheese cake”

Champagne

  (sham-PAIN)
Synonyms: Champagne – to be called Champagne, the wine must be from the Champagne region of France

Wine Name: Champagne, Rosé Champagne

Background: France essentially has a trademark on the name “Champagne” which designates only sparkling wine from the approved regions in Champagne France can be called as such. In fact sparkling wines from any other region in France cannot be called Champagne but are called “Cremant”. Champagne must be made by the traditional method in which the second fermentation that produces the bubbles (carbonation) must take place in the bottle rather than a tank or other container as is done for many sparkling wines in other countries. Champagne can be non-vintage (NV) with mixing of wines from several years) or have a year designation (Vintage) for only grapes from that year’s harvest. For a non-vintage Champagne, the wine is left on the dead yeast cells (lies) for at least 12 months. The longer a wine is left on its lees (dead yeast cells) the more toasty and bready the taste becomes and the finer the bubbles appear in the wine. A vintage Champagne must be aged for at least 36 months which usually give them a more toasty, biscuity or bready flavor and finer bubbles.

Classic Brands and Sources: Billecart-Salmon, Bollinger, Charles Heidsieck, Duval-Leroy, Henri Giraud, Gosset, Heidsieck, Henriot, Krug, Laurent-Perrier, Moët & Chandon, Mumm, Perrier-Jouët, Piper-Heidsieck, Pol Roger, Pommery, Louis Roederer, Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin

Characteristics:

Brut Nature

Body – light

Acidity – dry

Sweetness – dry – no added sugar

0-3 g/l, < 0.3%

Tannins – low

Extra Brut

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

0-6 g/l, <0.6%

Tannins – low

Brut

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

0-12 g/l, <1.2%

Tannins – low

Extra Sec/Extra Dry

Body – medium (-)

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – off dry

12-17 g/l, 1.2 – 1.7%

Tannins – low

Sec/Dry

Body – medium (-)

Acidity – medium to medium (+)

Sweetness – semi-sweet

17-35 g/l, 1.7 – 3.5%

Tannins – low

Semi Sec/Semi Dry

Body – medium

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – semi-sweet

33-50 g/l, 3.3 – 5.0%

Tannins – low

Doux/Sweet

Body – full

Acidity – perceived as low

Sweetness – sweet

> 50 g/l, >5.0%

Tannins – low

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Champagne is most often consumed on its own without food. With food, the dryer styles go well with fish, shellfish and lighter meat dishes with acidic sauces. Sweeter versions can go with heavier dishes that have spice or hotness or sweetness.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:

Dry styles (Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut) – light fish, shellfish, chicken, pork with citrus-based sauces

Off dry styles (Extra Sec, Extra Dry, Sec, Dry)  – chicken, pork, veal with spicier sauces, Pacific rim foods, Mexican

Semi-sweet (Demi-Sec, Semi-Dry) –  Goat’s cheese, blue or strong flavored cheese, desserts

Sweet styles (Doux, Sweet) – fairly sweet dessert dishes

Rosé dry or off dry styles – beef and lamb dishes and dishes with slight spiciness, truffle dishes, charcuterie

Cheese Pairings:
dry – Brie with rind, Brin D’Amour, Camembert with rind, Emmental, Feta, Garroxta, most goat cheeses, Muenster, Raclette, Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, Swiss, Vacherin
off dry – Brick, Colby, Double Glouster, Edam, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Langres, Vermont Shepard
semi-sweet – any rich cheese, blue cheeses, “cheese cake”