February 19, 2008

Breakfast Wines: Drinking with Eggs

posted by Kirstin in Guest Bloggers, Wine



We get a lot of wine pairing advice requests at the wine shop/wine bar where I work.

Besides drinking wine on the cheap, it’s my favorite thing about the job.

Cheese questions (what do I serve with Manchego or fresh chevre) are especially prominent. Then, of course, there are the seasonal requests. In the summer, people ask what to serve with grilled chicken, corn on the cob, or hot dogs. Around Thanksgiving, people wonder what to drink with turkey and sweet potatoes. And just to mix things up, our customers sprinkle in an odd question or two (what do I serve with a spicy, red pepper lasagna with tofu béchamel sauce over fake chicken with pork).

But within the last few months, one wine pairing request in particular has surfaced the most among our lovely guests. It has nothing to do with béchamel or BBQ or spiced side dishes. Instead, it has to do with meals served earlier in the day. People want to know what to pair with their breakfast eggs. Be assured that I understand my dear wine drinkers. One can only drink coffee for so long before it seems dull. Overbearing. Heavy. I’m surprised that we lasted this long. But hold on to your pajama pants, I have an answer.

Sparkling wine. I prefer Champagne myself, which is only made in the Champagne region of France, from Pinot Noir or Chardonnay grapes. I mean, sure, I’ll happily sip Prosecco or Cava with lunch or mixed with orange juice, but breakfast eggs seem to call for something a bit more spectacular. As breakfast IS the most important meal of the day, the one that sets the tone for the following hours, it makes sense to go big. Go French. Go elite. Wear a cute little apron while scrambling the eggs. One of my favorite egg breakfasts, pictured above, is an egg sandwich that my husband makes. His father makes it for him when we visit, and if we have a son, he will probably make it for his loved ones too. Champagne is the perfect match for this sandwich. Rather than overwhelming the lush filling like dark, thick coffee would, the bubbles cut some of the fat from the oozing cheese and buttery bread and highlight the overall breakfast egg experience. It’s fabulous, and I bet that any egg dish, omelette, quiche, or frittata that you serve will be made more spectacular too, by Champagne, at breakfast time.

Also works for breakfast at dinner.

Kirstin Jackson Ellis works as a wine bar manager and wine and food consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area and writes about wine and food pairing at Vin de La Table, her luxurious and lighthearted blog.

by philip · February 19, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Champagne or sparkling wine is a great breakfast treat. On its own or even as a mimosa. The latter my preference as i feel healthy for having my vitamin C intake. As for breakfast at dinner, i’m working hard to make the omelet a dinnertime staple.

by mark · February 19, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Thanks, Kirstin. Like your patrons, I’d love to hear some more thoughts about cheese pairings in the future too.

by Kirstin · February 19, 2008 at 8:38 pm

Philip: Vitamin C is so important these days. I’ve heard that it counters the effect of a champagne hangover.
Mark: I’ll be sure to supply cheese pairing thoughts in the future. I’ll have to refresh my notes of course.

by Sung · February 20, 2008 at 9:05 am

Omelettes and champagne…who would have thought, so simple, yet so right. I was never a huge fan of mimosas at brunch time, but I do love my champagne. Now…if only someone would just make me his special omelettes for dinner…. :-P

by Kirstin · February 20, 2008 at 11:43 am

Philip: Vitamin C is so important these days. I’ve heard that it also takes the edge off a champagne hangover.
Mark: I’m a cheese lover in the highest order, so I’ll be sure to do some extra research and report back for the snooth crew.

by chris · February 21, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Kirsten: Is the egg sandwich recipe a family secret? With something good to eat, I could easily finish off a bottle of champagne and a carton of OJ

by Kirstin · February 22, 2008 at 3:34 pm

I’ll see if I could muster up the recipe from the sandwich maker.

by Dan · February 23, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Please let me add that Condrieu with scrambled, truffled eggs is a classic French pairing. And, truly, there is nothing better than a Cabernet after your morning coffee.

by Kirstin · March 4, 2008 at 1:45 am

I wish that I’ve experienced that truffled egg pairing. And the Cab, is that after an Irish coffee?

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