Beer and chips.
Beer and nachos.
Chicken wings and beer.
Beer and pizza.
Chili cheese hot dog and beer
Grilled cheese sandwich and a beer
Beer, beer, beer…
But, if you don’t drink beer, what on earth can you pair with fat and salt?
I say bubbly!
My house sparking wine is a Spanish Cava that I get from Lifford Wines. As you know, Champagne can only come from the Champagne region of France but Spain has been making sparking wines in the “méthode champagnoise” for over 150 years…they have had time to practice! Loving to regulate as they do, the European Union recognizes “Cava” (somewhat like Ontario has VQA) and you know it is authentic by the star on the base of the cork….but that would mean I would have to find my cork that invariably flies out of the bottle, narrowly missing the cat before lodging behind a piece of furniture. As long as I don’t lose the wine, I don’t worry too much about finding the cork.
The Poema Cava Brut ($15.99) is a great bubbly to have around the house. It has a pleasant pale yellow colour, nice small bubbles that last in the glass and don’t tickle the nose (embarrassing if it makes you laugh while trying to appear sophisticated). There is enough lemon in the mouth and yeastiness to cut through the saltiness of “bar snacks” without fading away. It is a good wine to serve to guests upon arrival or as an alternative to beer when a pizza craving hits. I close mine with a handy gadget I bought at the LCBO years ago – allowing me to keep it for a few days without losing all the bubbles (but, with my friends and neighbours, bottles rarely last that long!).
If you don’t want (or need) to order by the case, there are many Cavas to choose from at the LCBO or SAQ. Freixenet and Cordoniú are two well known Spanish sparkling wines. If you like a drier wine (as I do), look for the word “Brut” on the label. A sweeter one will be an “Extra Seco” or “Seco” and a “Dulce” will take you into the Baby Duck or Baby Sham world (and it is a scary, scary world). At about $12-$15 a bottle, Cava is an affordable sparkling to accompany any junk food craving!
As for the popcorn…