It’s pretty much a universal given; Brunch is the best meal of the day. Heck, I’d even give Sunday brunch bragging rights to of Meal of the Week. It takes many forms, from formal tea service to all-you-can-eat buffets to lazy late breakfast in bed. Whatever the time, attire or menu, it’s a special event - and - one most often accompanied by booze.
Sanctioned drinking in the morning/noon/early afternoon!
What could be better? (nothing)
What could go wrong? (lots)
We’ve all heard it: “This would be a great brunch wine.” But what does that mean? Part of brunch’s charm lies in its variation – from eggs benny to Moroccan tagine to kale quinoa salad to pulled pork sandwiches to fruit and cheese platters. So what do people mean when they refer to a great brunch wine? And what should you be looking for?
First, remember that even though you may have fallen into bed just a few hours earlier, it’s daylight, and there are still hours of possible productivity to get through. Most wines suited for brunch are lighter, fresher, lower in alcohol and generally quaffable. It’s not the time of day to be decanting and downing 16% alcohol tannic reds, no matter how long a siesta you plan on taking after. Bright, lively, pure-fruited whites like Tawse Sketches Riesling 2013 will waken the palate, while lighter, lower tannin reds like Meyer Family Vineyards Okanagan Valley Pinot Noir 2012 can take on proteins without putting you to sleep.
Just like brunch bridges the breakfast / lunch space, rosés are the bridge between white and red. No coincidence that rosés are perfectly suited for brunch, combining the freshness and brightness of a white with the tannins and berry fruit of a red. Haywire Pinot Noir Rosé 2012 works double duty as a mate for both bacon and bagels smothered with cream cheese with lox.
I’ve saved the best until last. Brunch = Bubbles. Vibrant sparkling wines are a natural for brunching hour. Remember, nothing suits a special event like a sparkler. Instant festivities! Plus, sparkling wines’ zippy acidity and refreshing bubbles suit a wide range of foods. Both a serious, structured sparkling wine like Nova Scotia’s L’Acadie Prestige Brut Estate 2009 and a fun, fruit-forward bubbly like Elephant Island’s Pink Elephant 2011 have room at the table and can aptly meet up with dishes spanning sweet to savoury (tip - especially eggs).
Whichever menu you favour, brunch is a leisurely meal – and the perfect opportunity to relax, enjoy and share a bottle, or few, with friends.
Treve Ring is a wine journalist, editor, judge and traveller with an alphabet of diplomas and over a dozen years in the industry. When not tasting at the Trevehouse, she is on the road visiting every wine region worldwide – a seemingly (and fortuitously) endless goal. Find her on Twitter at @Treve_Ring.