Food & Drink
7 Connoisseurs on Perfect Champagnes and Food Pairings
Break out the bubbly with Stephanie Zubiri Crespi, Tippi Tambunting, Alexander Lichaytoo, and more.
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With the holidays around the corner, we’ll soon be breaking out the bubbly. We surveyed a few experts on their sparklers of choice for this season and how they would pair them with food.

Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi
Lifestyle Writer and TV Host

There’s nothing I love more than some perfectly chilled Krug with those delicious sugar caramel coated cream puffs from a pièce montée! I can never resist stealing a piece and biting into that vanilla cream-filled choice pastry, the burnt crisp sugar sticking to your teeth, all washed down with Champagne effervescence. Throw in a few strawberries and I’m in heaven! Wine Story, Shangri-La Plaza, 633.3556. 

Tippi Tambunting
M Dining and Donosti

A nice glass of Bruno Paillard Brut Rose paired with a chorizo puff aioli is a perfect pairing—crisp yet juicy, with the right amount of dryness. The Bruno Paillard has a slight tartness and savory flavor that complement the taste of the chorizo puff and its fruit flavors enhance the fairly aggressive taste of the chorizo. Premium Wine Exchange, Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati.

Olga Alarcon
Deputy Managing Director, Moët Hennessy Philippines

Depending on the occasion, ingredients, and season, I love alternating between Moët & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Krug, Veuve Clicquot, and Ruinart champagnes. For the holidays, I’m craving some venison Wellington and would love to pair it with a bottle of Dom Perignon Rosé 2004. Wine Story.

Alexander Lichaytoo
President, Bacchus International

Louis Roederer Cristal and a tin of Oscietra caviar… Need I say more? Fresh oysters are also perfect with the Champagne. The saltiness of the sea pairs well with the chilled, buttery mouth feel, taking me back to almost any brasserie in Paris. Bacchus Epicerie, Ground Floor, Power Plant Mall, 896.5648.

Pierre Addison
Sommelier and Hospitality Consultant

More and more wineries in the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene regions are focusing their efforts on building a name for their prosecco. Ruggeri is as good a prosecco you can get. It pairs well with raw fish and seafood such as ceviche and sushi with a hint of fresh wasabi and cooked preparations like shellfish boudin. Artisan Cellar Door, 2276 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati, 880.0618.

Tanguy Gras
Food & Beverage Manager, Sofitel Philippine Plaza

I enjoy refreshing and lively Champagnes with fruity flavors such as pear and apples and one that is slightly toasty. I usually like vintage Champagnes which, with aging, develops a  brioche flavor but still manages to keep their freshness and fruitiness. My top preferences are Krug, even if I do not get to drink it often, and  Ruinart Blanc de Blancs. Champagne and oysters are definitely a great pairing, though I also appreciate a glass of Champagne with Brillat-Savarin triple creme cheese because the freshness actually cuts well on the creaminess of the cheese.

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Damien Marchenay
Director of Food & Beverage, Sofitel Philippine Plaza

My favorite is S Salon Cuvee “S” Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs, and the best vintage for me is the 2002. The flavor is more like a great Burgundy white with minerality, spiciness, and citrus fruit. The finish is very long and the bubble is very light. I would pair with a vintage Comté cheese, walnuts, dried apricots and figs, and some bread, or with a dessert made with tonka beans and dark Valrhona chocolate. Wine Story.

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Alicia Colby Sy
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