Brunch and Wine Pairing Just as the Sun Rises

Brunch with wineDrinking at breakfast sounds odd, even bizarre. But during the weekends when your breakfast isn’t too early (or brunch), the right pairing with what is served – pancakes, eggs, burgers or some other breakfast concoctions  – can lend the morning meal some heartiness. Jim Clarke’s Drinking in the Morning at Star Chef’s Easter Brunch suggests it is great for Easter. Though anyone who loves having a great morning or weekend, can find the suggestion a welcome one. Clarke says,

“… We typically pay tribute to our breakfasty beverages by supercharging them—OJ becomes a mimosa; tomato juice, a bloody mary. Coffee remains unadulterated—the caffeinated counterbalance to your morning alcohol—but do we really need to cut our alcohol with fruit juice to make it socially acceptable?”

Light Choices for Egg-based Breakfast

No, vodka or whiskey or anything as hard is not suggested with eggs benedict or any light dish for breakfast. Rather, lighter stuff is suggested to make decent pairings at this time of the day; Champagne with orange juice, citrusy Chardonnay or any sparkling wine pairing with omelets, quiches and egg benedict.

If price is a concern, Proseccos are simpler and cheaper, but excellent substitutes for Champagne. If the lovely bubbles irks you than make you happy, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand releasing the aromas of kiwi and grapefruit would be a great spirited beverage for brunch. If you want it less fruity, a South African Sauvignon Blanc is a go-to alternative with its grapes from the Loire Valley.

What Goes with a Carbohydrate Brunch

For a feast of French delights – waffles, toast or pancakes – you can opt to stay “French.” This means a glass of French wine or Alsace’s Pinot Gris to balance the heaviness of the bread and garnishes of cinnamon crème fraiche, vanilla, fruit compotes or maple syrup.

“For waffles and pancakes, Clarke made a suggestion based on experience: beer or its kin – nut brown ales, ambers to softer pale ales. He said, “… I have a confession… like many people, go out for a drink…at six in the morning. The only place open was a local sports bar… They served pancakes at that hour. Fortunately, beer and pancakes is a match made in heaven…”

Waffles are, by-and-large, from Belgium, which is home to some of the world’s finest beers. If you’re a bit guilty about drinking beer early on a Sunday morning, drink the beer that monks make and drink – Trappist or Abbey beer. Both have the right balance of body and sugariness that makes them perfect pairings for waffles topped with Belgian lambics would be nicer if the topping of fruit compote.

Making Your Own Brunch Pairings

“The real question is why aren’t you drinking wine at brunch? Sure Bloody Marys are awesome and mimosas and bellinis are delightful, but wine is classy,” says Allison Spiegel in her The Huffington post Wine and Brunch Pairings To Make Your Weekend A Little Classier.

“… If you aren’t yet sold on wine at brunch, the folks at New York City’s Corkbuzz Wine Studio will convince you. Co-founder of Corkbuzz and master sommelier Laura Maniec, and Corkbuzz’s chef A.J. Schaller … got the lowdown on excellent pairings for everything from pancakes to burgers …”

Starting on Classy Brunch Pairings

Spiegel starts you off with five elegant brunch pairs that can make you swear you should have tried this before.

  1. Pancakes + German Riesling: The sugary wine makes it work with the sweet taste of the pancakes.
  1. Eggs + Sparkling Wine: For a great pairing with eggs, look for a wine that has no tannin or oak flavors in there. That makes sparkling wine among the finest options.
  1. French Toast + Pinot Noir: Crusty French toast with jam and whipped cream makes an exquisite match to oaky Pinot Noir.
  1. Vegetable Frittata + Gruner Veltliner: This wine known for its distinct refreshing taste with stone fruit flavors is a perfect match with greens and veggies like quiches, vegetable frittatas or kale- apple salad.
  1. Burger + Rosé: There are many elegant possibilities when you pair a burger with rosé that’s light enough even for brunch. Try to mix and match to find out which to you is the killer combination.

While your home is a perfect place to experiment, going to a wine bar in the morning can be an amazing source of unfinished bottles opened the night before. Be imaginative; try one wine pairing at a time. With practice, you might just get better at it so Sunday mornings won’t be the same again.

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