The Best Wines to Serve with Brunch
Brunch’s charm lies in its varied, all-things-to-all-people character. The fare can be deliciously sticky-sweet pancakes, spicy Mexican chilaquiles, or grilled steak with poached eggs. Whichever direction you favor, brunch is a leisurely meal and the perfect opportunity to pour a glass of wine or share a bottle with friends. These pairings cover a number of brunch dishes and styles you’re likely to encounter on weekends.
Related: 14 New, Lighter Comfort Food Ideas
Croissants, Muffins, Coffee Cake
Because buttery pastries and quick breads deserve a bubbly with some of the complex, yeast-biscuit notes one finds in distinguished Champagnes.
A Brunch Featuring Lots of Bacon
Because Chardonnay aged gently in oak has expressions of butterscotch and vanilla that play off the salty-smoky jolt of good bacon.
Steak and Eggs
Because if there were a comfort wine, it would be soft, velvety, easy-drinking merlot. It fits the most classic and indulgent of comfort proteins, steak and eggs, like a glove.
Southern-Style Ham Steak with Redeye Gravy
Serve White Rioja
Because the light, sweet-tart playfulness of the grape Viura (from which most white Riojas are made or blended) is just right for the salt and smoke of a good ham and for the nutty, tannic quality of a redeye gravy made with strong coffee.
Classic English Fry-Up
Serve Australian Rhone-Style Blend
Because the disparate elements on the plate of a classic fry-up — streaky bacon, potatoes, roasted tomatoes, and kidneys — call for a wine that brings them together, one with jammy-berry fruit flavors and an earthy undertone.
Huevos Rancheros or Chilaquiles
Serve Beaujolais (Chilled)
Because the heat of chiles, coupled with the mellow flavors of corn tortilla and egg, typify brunches inspired by Mexican or Southwestern dishes. The red-berry juiciness of the Gamay grape draws out the fruitiness in chiles, while the chilled wine cools their heat.
Sausage and Peppers
Serve Moscato d’Asti
Because sausage and Moscato d’Asti is a classic pairing, and for good reason. The riot of seasonings in a good sausage — fennel seed, crushed red pepper, garlic — call for Moscato’s fragrant, peach-nectar flavors, which refresh the palate with every sip.
Serve Dry Hungarian Furmint
Because the dry white wines made from Furmint, a grape typically used in the dessert wine Tokaji Aszu, have a bracing lemon character that’s like a squeeze of juice on smoked salmon. It balances the richly smoky, salty sensations of the fish.
French Toast or Pancakes with Toppings
Serve Italian Prosecco
Because its dry citrus flavors and lively effervescence are the perfect foil for the thick, sweet toppings, such as maple syrup and honey, that are often drizzled on these brunch mainstays. But Prosecco is equally suited to pancake and French toast partners that possess more acidity and fruit flavor, such as apple, rhubarb, or currant compotes.
Frittatas, Omelets, Quiches, Other Egg Dishes
Serve German Riesling
Because eggs are notoriously challenging to pair, but the gently sweet, round, and sometimes resinous flavors in Riesling give focus to the shyness of eggs and to the medley of vegetables — onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, and bell peppers — that commonly appears in these dishes.