Known as the amalgamation of two important meals of the day, breakfast and lunch, brunch is a late morning meal that can be used to replace both. It is a popular meal during the weekend when people get up too late to have their breakfast. There are also those who are looking for opportunities to catch up with friends or for an early client meeting.
Wines, on the other hand, are often associated with heavier meals such as lunch and dinner. Some of the best wine pairings involve steak or other meat dishes, but that does not mean that liquor is limited to such meals. “Boozy Brunches” are becoming a big hit, especially in premium restaurants or during special occasions such as Valentine’s or Mother’s Day.
Over time, the concept of brunches has evolved that it is no longer limited to a specific time period or the type of drinks you can have. For instance, you can have Thursday night brunch in Abu Dhabi with selected house beverages served in abundant quantities. Having wine for brunch is not that surprising if you come to think of it.
Having brunch and wine with your friends or family provides an excellent opportunity to sit down and relax with people who matter the most. Although mimosas and fruit cocktails are some of the more common alcoholic beverages for brunch, we can teach you a few tips on how to pair wines with typical brunch dishes like a pro.
Scrambled eggs and omelets are some of the more basic yet standard parts of a brunch. Albeit the popularity of egg dishes, it is difficult to find wines that would suit the oily, rich quality of the egg.
There are a few choices, depending on how the dish was prepared. Some of the more practical options would be a glass of sparkling wine or champagne for their ability to cleanse the palate. Cremant-style champagne can also work for those who are looking for less of a pop and more of a velvety taste.
Diners looking for a drink with a fruitier note can benefit from a glass of rosé wine. Both sparkling and still variations can work. However, determining which one is better depends on how the dish was prepared and any added ingredients.
Pancakes and waffles
If eggs are tricky to pair with wine, breads and pastries such as pancakes and waffles are the exact opposite. There are plenty of wines that go well with these classic brunch dishes. One factor to keep in mind, however, is the toppings, sauces, or fillings placed inside.
For the classic pancakes or waffles with maple syrup, the recommended wine has to have enough body to absorb the syrup’s sweetness. At the same time, the wine must not be too overwhelming as to mask the taste of the pastry itself.
With these two aspects in mind, full-bodied white wines make a perfect match. A Grenache Blanc is one to consider. Its intense citrus flavor and spicy finish cut through the sweetness of the syrup while still allowing you to taste the delicateness of the pancake.
Are you looking for pancakes with a more complex taste profile? Try pancakes with lemon ricotta. A glass of German Riesling goes well with the combination of tart and sweetness of this brunch dish.
For a more filling meal, burgers are a must-have for brunches. The combination of bread, meat, and vegetables covers all the basic food groups.
Although it contains a fair amount of meat, red wines are not recommended. Bloody Marys are not suitable either as they tend to be heavy and coats the palate. Opt for rosé instead.
A glass of rosé has enough body to handle the juicy, greasy aspects of the meat. At the same time, it has a light taste that makes it suitable for brunches.
For a healthier alternative to burgers, some diners may opt for seafood dishes. Smoked salmon is one of the more common brunch offerings in restaurants. A lively white wine goes well with this selection.
When ordering smoked salmon, you can’t go wrong with a serving of Sauvignon Blanc. Its combination of citrus and herbal notes gives the seafood dish an added flavor while cutting through the fish’s rich oily taste.
Depending on the menu, you might find steaks with fries on the side or eggs, both of which are part of the classic brunch menu. Traditionally, red wines are an automatic choice when steaks are involved, but not with eggs or fries at the side. Plus, most people prefer lighter wines when dining earlier in the morning.
A glass of sparkling rose goes best with this dish. The pop and high acidity can help cut through the oiliness and richness of the eggs or fries. On the other hand, its fruit notes go well with the steak.
For patrons who prefer red, some types of Pinot Noirs go well. The light to medium body taste combined with fruit aromas complement well with the dish.
Keep these tips in mind for your next brunch trip with your friends or loved ones.
Chiara Bisignani is the F&B Marketing Executive at Saadiyat Beach Club. She oversees website maintenance, PR requests, marketing initiatives and all general guests’ enquiries for the company’s destinations of KOI Restaurant & Lounge, Boa Steakhouse and Caramel Restaurant and Lounge in Abu Dhabi.