Brunch. In my mind it’s just a loose term that means a good excuse to get together, eat, drink and catch up. The perfect lazy Sunday. I say loose because more often than not, they are impromptu and pretty much anything could be on the breakfast table.
Coffee and tea are mandatory, but if you’re feeling festive, you might wish to add a boozy option. Why did the combo of sparkling wine and orange juice (Mimosa) became the favourite drink? First, you dilute the wine with juice, which makes the drink lighter in alcohol. Ideal if you just woke up! Especially if you’re planning to have a productive day afterwards. Second, it’s refreshing and it does go well with the typical food items you tend to pick for the occasion.
Mimosas are fun and easy to drink. They taste like orange juice with an edge! The only potential pitfall with them is the sparkling wine that's used. You don’t want to use a fancy bottle of bubble for a cocktail (and you shouldn’t!). So you go for a cheap bottle. An inexpensive bottle of bubbles, let’s say between the $9-12 range, is likely to have a considerable amount of sugar in it. Nothing wrong with that but you end up with a soso drink that is dangerously easy to drink and is likely to give you a headache shortly after.
My advice? Combine the money you spend on orange juice and bubble and buy a good bottle of wine! Quiche is one of my favourite items. It’s fairly easy to make and it can feed a lot of people. Serve it with a simple salad and ‘le tour est joué’. Very European. The French region of Alsace inspires me. I love Quiche Lorraine. French Canadian chef Ricardo has a delicious recipe. Serve with a rich an unctuous Pinot Gris. That’s how they do it in Alsace! Wild Goose Vineyards Pinot Gris 2014 is a great match.
French toast is another classic. Serve with GOOD maple syrup and pear cooked in butter and you have something delicious. Elephant Island makes fantastic fruit wine. Their Pear wine has always been a favourite and it works like a charm with this! Make sure to serve it well chilled.
For the traditional breakfast (bacon and eggs) and eggs benedict, sparkling is my pick. Eggs tend to coat your mouth and the bubbles act as a palate cleanser. Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Brut NV won’t break the bank and it’s easily quaffable, especially when you just woke up. Santé!
Michelle Bouffard is a wine educator and journalist who splits her time between Montréal & Vancouver. She co-owns the Vancouver-based company ‘house wine’ and is the president of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. She Tweets @michellebwine and Instagrams @michellebouffard.