To pair or not to pair…Fish ‘n’ Chips with Champagne


As Lockdown eased in London, a dear friend invited me over for a Friday evening filled with fun, frivolity and best of all…fish ‘n’ chips! We call it Fish ‘n’ Chip Friday in our house. Oddly enough, the thought of escaping the routine ketchup stains, screaming voices and greasy fingerprints of my own lively household, left me with an immediate desire to leap out the front door and leg it on over to my friend’s house.

“Let’s christen this as THE FISH ‘N’ CHIP FRIDAY that will go down in history! What better way to mark the occasion than pairing fish ‘n’ chips with Champagne!

“Are you sure? It’s just fish ‘n’ chips!!”

“Absolutely! We’re celebrating the easing of Lockdown! Besides, I’ve heard (through the grapevine) that Champagne is the perfect pairing with fish ‘n’ chips.”

Enough with justifying my pairing…I was ready to pop open my lovely bottle of Paul Dethune Extra Brut Gran Cru Champagne blanc de noir from Ambonnay, France and stuff my face…oh sorry…indulge in some damn good battered fish ‘n’ chips.

Does the utter thought of pairing fish ‘n’ chips with Champagne make you shudder with dismay? Okay…stop right there, you wine snob, you!!! Or are you a bit more of a free spirit, willing to take a risk and dive into the unknown? Well, first of all, I hope you approach this pairing with the latter mindset, as I think that this could quite possibly be another perfect pairing.

It’s well known that battered fish ‘n’ chips are wonderfully indulgent and filled with flavours of bread, sea salt and savoury fish goodness that simply can’t be ignored. Quite possibly the reason we’ve christened a weeknight dinner in honour of this dish! On the other hand, Champagne is highly acidic and filled with uplifting bubbles. The contrasts between the two couldn’t be more clear. Heavy vs light. Champagne’s effervescence and high acidity work together to give your palate a well deserved and refreshing break from the fish ‘n’ chips’ heavy, greasy punch. Despite their differences, the similarities in flavours just can’t be ignored. The fish ‘n’ chip batter offers breaded, toasted notes, that are reflected yet also extended when paired with this Champagne’s expressive notes of toast, yeast, honeysuckle, subtle raspberry, nuts and honey.

Wow!! All that from fish ‘n’ chips with Champagne. Impressive!! Your palate will have thoroughly enjoyed the journey and you won’t think twice again about this ‘shocking’ yet logical pairing.

Oh and let’s just say the evening was a success…empty plates and an empty bottle.

No complaints and no wine snobs!