This post comes to us courtesy of wine expert Jordan Mackay.
This time of the year, it’s all about the light. Sunlight is streaming through our windows again, the air smells like flowers, and Mother’s Day is just around the corner: It’s brunch season. When planning the meal, I tend to favor the “unch” over the “br.” That is, the savory over the sweet, as it makes for much better wine pairings. But what kind of wine?
While Champagne is obvious, don’t dwell on the mimosa—straight, dry sparklers are better with food. All styles work well, but especially beautiful at brunch is rosé Champagne, like the Alfred Gratien. The little touch of red-berry pink gives the wine a roundness and fruitiness that makes it a snap with mixed berries (a brunch staple).
Egg dishes often make the centerpiece of brunch, which is fortunate for those of us who love white wine, because the two are infallibly fantastic together. The exact type of white wine you serve should be determined by what you mix with the eggs. With cheddar and broccoli, as in Suzanne Goin’s Mother’s Day brunch menu, I’d love to have a Sauvignon Blanc (especially if the cheddar is sharp). Its great acidity and zingy herbal flavors will bring brightness and punch. On the other hand, if your egg dish has mushrooms, there’s a great opportunity to drink Chardonnay. The varietal’s rounded body and softer flavor pair beautifully with both eggs and mushrooms.
For heavier dishes involving vegetables, pork or poultry I still love keeping the wine light. With their herb and berry inflections, dry rosés are great. They’ll fare beautifully, for instance, with Goins’ sausage patties or farro salad.
Just remember: we know it’s brunch season because our days are now filled with light. Keep your brunch wines light and bright as well, and you’ll have great pairings.
About the author: Jordan Mackay is the James-Beard-winning wine and spirits writer for San Francisco magazine and writes the drinks column, “The Juice,” for Chow, the online food magazine owned by CBS. His writing on food, wine, spirits, and beer has also appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Decanter, Wine Enthusiast, Wine and Spirits, Food & Wine, Gourmet and others. His first book, Passion for Pinot, was published in 2009, and his second, Secrets of the Sommeliers, was released in October 2010, winning a James Beard award in 2011. He is excited to be a new member of the Williams-Sonoma Wine team.