PAIRED – Champagne And Sparkling Wines ~ Bubbly Book Review


Pairing wine and food can be quite a conundrum. Champagne and sparkling wines are among the most mysterious when it comes to pairing so it was refreshing to discover this lovely food and wine matching recipe book: PAIRED – Champagne & Sparkling Wines

Just in time for the holidays ~ this lovely book will make a fabulous gift ~  as soon as it arrived on my doorstep I couldn’t wait to commence to tasting and cooking!  Bubbly FUN!


This cookbook starts out with a splash! …a photo of one of the authors sabering champagne on the Australian coast. We know from the first page that this is going to be a FUN book! (Photo credits: All photos (unless otherwise noted) complements of  Fran Flynn & David Stevens-Castro at

PAIRED received a ‘Best in the World Award’ in the Food & Wine Matching category at the prestigious Gourmand World Cook Book Awards in May, 2016.

The forward by Tyson Stelzer, International Wine and Spirit Communicator of the Year 2015 and International Champagne Writer of the Year 2011 supports my motto:  DON’T WAIT TO CELEBRATE! Champagne has a place at every meal and occasion and pairs with so many foods.

Bubbling over with refreshing information about pairing champagne and sparkling wines with food, this cookbook was written by David Stevens-Castro and Fran Flynn. David and Fran’s mission is to help us make magic combinations with wine and food pairings.

Following is the authors bio compliments of

David Stevens-Castro grew up in Chile playing in the vineyards on his grandfathers farm and inspired by his Aunt and Uncles wine analysis laboratory. Fast forward a few decades, with a degree in Agricultural Science under his belt (specialising in fruit and wine production) and a passion for food and wine in his belly, David set out exploring Australia and enriched his career as a sommelier in several five star locations. These days he is a highly respected wine expert, whos admirable palate is regularly employed for food and wine selection and menu design. Meanwhile Fran Flynn honed her skills in all things creative in the Emerald Isle of Ireland – before setting off on adventures that meadered through five continents. After working her way up through many creative agencies, this award winning photographer and designer settled in Australia and has enjoyed ten years running her own successful business. Their worlds collided on the salty, sunny, romantic, stage of Byron Bay, Australia and eight years later (now living on the Gold Coast, Australia) they have combined their skills to present what they know and love with a narrative that is unique, compelling and accessible to everyone.

I received a complimentary copy of Paired- – Champagne & Sparkling Wines in exchange for my review of the food and wine recipe matching book on my blog.


Photo compliments of

I will enjoy giving PAIRED as a gift this holiday season…

The recipes are easy to prepare and bubbly pairings are included on each recipe page.

It is a handy reference book…for the novice or the experienced bubbly lover there is an explanation of every type of bubbly – Champagne, Cava, Prosecco  New World Sparkling, Crémant, Sparkling Rosé, Moscato, and Sparkling Reds.

The photos are fabulous ~ colorful and inviting…the food photos encourage us to get cookin’! And the photos of bubbly make us want to start celebrating!

Here are my favorite recipes and pairings from this lovely book:


Photo compliments of

Gnocchi With Asparagus And Butter Sauce

I love to make gnocchi and this recipe is perfect for making those little pasta puffs of perfection.  Love how they brown the gnocchi in butter before adding the sauce. My hubby raved about this dish! Awesome pairing with champagne.

Roast Duck With Cherry Sauce


Photo compliments of

The balsamic vinegar in the cherry sauce recipe perks it up while the rosemary gives an additional layer of earthiness to the duck. The combination is heavenly! Since roasting a whole duck is not always in the cards,  I served the cherry sauce on seared duck breasts and it was equally delicious as the whole duck recipe. The authors recommended pairing this recipe with Sparkling Shiraz, ideally aged.


I will be preparing Stuffed Mushrooms With Ricotta And Sun-Dried Tomatoes during the holidays. My husband loved them and I know my holiday guests will love them too. For “pop-in guests” during the holidays I will serve a mini version of the stuff mushrooms, following the exact same recipe and replacing the large Portobello mushrooms with baby bella mushrooms. So easy to prepare with just a few ingredients. They are rich, flavorful and festive! Vegetarian too! 

Fun to pair these stuffed mushrooms with a dry non-vintage prosecco ideally from Veneto, Italy.


 Photo compliments of


Photo compliments of

Obviously I am NUTS about this cookbook!  One pairing that stood out with me after reading this book is Cava with almonds and walnuts. I enjoyed this pairing with one of my favorite Cavas ~ Segura Vuidas Reserva Heredad.  I love the bottle with the silvery embellishments as much as the elegant bubbly inside.

Cheers to Fran Flynn and David Stevens-Castro!  I am eagerly anticipating future volumes ~ Whites and Reds ~ of PAIRED.


Here’s a link to purchase PAIRED Champagne and Sparkling Wines:


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