With National Pretzel Day in April, we had to do a bubbly and pretzel pairing.  Salty snacks make great paring with bubbly because of the acid in the bubbles.  So, why not give pretzels a try.  

But first, let’s learn a little bit about the pretzel: 

  • The soft pretzel is the original pretzel, not the hard, crunchy pretzel
  • In Freeport, IL the high school mascot is the Pretzel
  • Pretzels have been a part of Easter traditions…even being hidden like Easter eggs
  • 80% of the nations pretzel production is from Pennsylvania (they also eat the most here too)
  • The first pretzel actually came over on the Mayflower
  • The average person eats 2 lbs of pretzels each year and if you live in PA, it’s 12lbs!
  • Pretzels used to be used in wedding ceremonies which is where the phrase “tie the knot” comes from
  • The hard pretzel was created because  of an over-baked pretzel thanks to a very tired baker’s apprentice who fell asleep on the job

Setting up a pairing party for National Pretzel Day is super easy once you pick a theme.  And since there’s no right or wrong way (I’m sure the experts would disagree) it’s really a fun trial and error experiment.  

So, here’s what I did.  

Pretzels

At the grocery store, I grabbed

  • Pretzel Thins
  • Special Extra Dark
  • Honey Wheat Twists
  • Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels 
Pretzels for National Pretzel Day

And Instagram must’ve known I was planning this because on my feed was constantly this ad for Eastern Standard Provisions soft pretzels.  So, I had to order those too.  I ordered the Turnbuckle pretzels with the salt that came with.

Bubbly for National Pretzel Day

So now that I had the pretzels, I had to pick the bubbly. 

I kept it simple because with 5 different types (technically 6) of pretzels to try, I didn’t want too many different bubblies to pair it with.  

  • Brut-a dry, crisp bubbly
  • Blanc de blancs-100% chardonnay bubbly.  Now I love a good oaky, buttery chardonnay so that is the type of blanc de blancs I chose.  
  • Rosé-choose one that is less fruity and more tart (definitely not sweet) for this pairing

And of course, I created a pairing guide so we could keep track of what we tried and what combinations we liked and didn’t like.  

It was super simple, nothing fancy and you feel free to download your own copy.  We were planning on simply recording, 

  • YES, we liked it
  • No, we didn’t like it
  • Ok, we could take it or leave it

What’s fun is my nephews who love pretzels decided to do this with us.  And what a fun activity for all of us to do together.  Of course, they had sparkling rosé grape juice, sparkling white grape juice and sparkling red grape juice. 

To prep the Eastern Standard Provision pretzels, we tried two ways.  I brushed half with melted butter and half with water and sprinkled on the pretzel salt.

Ok, now that it’s all prepped we put it all out on the table in just a giant spread and dive in.  We made it simple and just had some paper plates and worked our way through each type of pretzel and each type of bubbly.

As I have said many times before there is no right or wrong to do this.  And there is no right or wrong to what pairings you like or don’t like.

If you’re going to try this particular pairing at home, here are a few tips for your Pretzel Day Pairing:

  • Don’t try to add dips to pair with these.  As much as I love pretzels and dips like cheese, mustard and french onion, it was too much.  Now maybe if I didn’t have 6 different options of pretzels this would have been ok.
  • Limit the amount of pretzel choices.  I probably had too many different options. If I were to do this one again, I would just choose: Thins, Honey Wheat Twists, Eastern Standard Provisions Soft Pretzel and Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels.
  • I chose two types of pretzels that none of us had ever had before and I don’t think I’d do that again or maybe just pick one new one.
  • When prepping the Eastern Standard Provisions, the melted butter was absolutely delicious and the water was just ok.  So if I were to do it again, I would prep the soft pretzels with butter only next time.
  • Do not combine this pairing with another pairing on the same day.  Keep it simple and don’t mix up the “flavors.”

Overwhelmingly everyone LOVED the soft pretzels with the butter and blanc de blancs so if you don’t have time or don’t want to do a whole pairing for Pretzel Day this should be your go to!  And as you can see, it was quite popular because this is what was leftover. And the resounding NO came from the special extra dark pretzel with all of the combinations.  

As for the sparkling grape juice, they loved all of the combinations except the Dot’s and the special extra dark.  They didn’t even like those pretzels so it didn’t matter what it was paired with. And I’d say none of us were really excited about the soft pretzel plain with salt.  

Here’s why I love creating and hosting pairing parties:

  • They’re easy!  Once you pick the pairings everything is super focused and it’s easy to plan and prep.
  • It gives your gathering a purpose.  
  • It gives people a way to try something new and discover what they like and don’t like.
  • It’s something fun and different.  You wouldn’t pop open three different types of bubbly and put out of bunch of snacks just for yourself 
  • No one is ever wrong.  It’s your palate.  It’s your taste and it allows you to explore more of what you like and confirm what you don’t like.  

If you are a potato chip lover, you will want to run over to this blog post: How to Do an Awesome Potato Chip + Champagne Pairing and give it a try.  It’s just as simple as this one, in fact, I picked the same three types of bubblies.  

Not only are these a lot of fun, but if you are a snack/junk food lover like me and don’t keep them in the house because you’ll eat them all, what a great excuse to indulge.  And if you really want to get into the spirit of it you can watch the Pretzel Day episode of The Office while you do the pairing.

What pairing party should I host next?  Email me your suggestions or hop over to Instagram and send me a message. 

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