Which would win in a knockout round, Champagne or beer? We talk to ambassadors for each and find out how your drink of choice can pair well with food this festive season.

CHAMPAGNE

Champagne is a sparkling wine produced from grapes grown in the champagne region of France. No other sparkling wines can be labelled ’champagne’ otherwise. The key process in producing champagne is secondary fermentation that occurs in a sealed bottle. Alcohol content is around 12%.

WINNER:
Champagne will impress your snooty friends.

BEER

Beer is a carbonated alcoholic drink brewed from malted cereal grain (i.e. barley), hops, yeast and water. Beer can be made anywhere in the world, and can contain other ingredients and flavours such as fruits, vegetables and spices. Alcohol content varies between 4 to 6%.

“Drink champagne like wine, by smelling it first,”  shares Ned Goodwin MW, brand ambassador for Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck Champagnes for the Asia Pacific region. The model-turned-wine expert recommends using wider bowl wine glasses–”though you won’t see the bubbling (as much), you can taste it more.” 

WINNER:
Beer–cos you can even drink it out of the can/bottle.

Akira Ikoe, global brand ambassador of Suntory Beer, is precise about the level of foam and cleanliness of glass when you have a draft of Suntory The Premium Malt’s. “There should be 30% foam and 70% beer for the best drinking experience,” he says. When poured correctly, the Premium Malt’s beers should have a creamy foam, rich taste and noticeably flowery aroma.
Champagnes are characterised by different amounts of sugar–least sweet is called ‘dry’  or Brut, and most sweet is called ‘doux’ .
Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut (NV) is classic, full bodied and bursting with fruit. It was well paired with chef Julian Bompard’s house marinated salmon, as the light fruity taste counterpoints the rich and savoury salmon. Avoid pairing sweet dishes with a dry Champagne like this.
Piper-Heidsieck Rose Sauvage (NV) looks flamboyant scarlet red and smells of blackcurrant, blackberry, cherry and strawberry. It was paired with (our favourite combi!) sweet apple tart with salted caramel. You can also pair it with richer dishes like pork belly, chocolate, and red berry fruits. Try to stay away from ingredients like lime and basil.

 

WINNER:
Tie! Both go well with food.

Beers are categorised by colour, flavour, ingredients and production method. Most often seen are ales, lagers and stouts.
The Premium Malt’s beer is a Japanese pilsner with a rich, full-bodied umami taste. It matches well with coriander leaf’s crispy salt and pepper squid, with Sichuan spices. The beer’s elegant, flowery aromas are better for lightly fried foods rather than heavily deep-fried items.
The Premium Malt’s Black is a lager style beer that uses black malts, producing nutty, chocolate-y, roasted coffee flavours. Due to its creamier, richer mouthfeel, it can pair with spicy, strong flavours such as in the crispy baby seabass with fish sauce. However, the Black’s smoothness also makes it nice to drink on its own, almost like a dessert by itself.

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne is available from Cold Storage, and select supermarkets.

Suntory The Premium Malt’s is available from Meidi-Ya, and select retailers.