Easter Brunch Wine Guide

easter-brunch-spread-l.jpgFor many across the United States, Easter Brunch is a family tradition. Two or three – and sometimes more – generations gather, the cooks of the family outdo themselves and everyone enjoys the feast. Whether plain or fancy, Easter Brunch deserves to be served with a wine worthy of the food and company, and – with a little know-how – picking the perfect Easter Brunch wine can be a snap.   

Two aspects of Easter Brunch make selecting the perfect wine different – though not more difficult – than most meals. First, the Easter Brunch menu can be primarily breakfast foods, primarily lunch foods, or a mixture of both. Even dinner dishes may sneak into the mix. Second, Easter Brunch may have two or three main courses rather than one. The diversity of Easter Brunch puts the focus on versatile wines that complement a range of dishes and those wines are where perfect matches will be found.   

An Easter Brunch featuring breakfast foods like fruit salad, eggs Benedict, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, waffles, pancakes, hash browns, bacon, sausages, and hot cross buns or scones takes wine pairing to a place it rarely goes, but one where wine can really showcase the foods. While a few white wines and even a couple of reds can pair well with this style of Easter Brunch, the best match is the most elegant – champagne! Korbel Brut California Champagne’s fresh, crisp style and slightly off-dry finish works beautifully; for those who prefer a slightly sweeter – but still food-friendly – sparkler, Korbel Sweet Cuvée is a fine choice.

An Easter Brunch of classic brunch dishes like mushroom or spinach and bacon quiche, zucchini frittata, cheese blintzes, herb-roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, green bean casserole and potato salad find an ideal match in white wines with elegant fruit and generous acidity, such as fruit-forward versions of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Chardonnay, Valley of the Moon Winery Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Valley of the Moon Winery Sonoma County Pinot Blanc are all tasty options. A Pinot Noir like Kenwood Russian River Valley Pinot Noir or Valley of the Moon Carneros Pinot Noir is a good alternative for those who prefer a red.

easter-brunch.jpgOf course, two dishes are Easter traditions: glazed ham and roast lamb. Each is distinctive and each should be paired with a wine that complements its unique flavors. Smokey, salty and sweet, glazed ham pairs best with a fresh, crisp white wine like Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Pinot Gris, Lake Sonoma Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc or Valley of the Moon Unoaked Chardonnay. Glazed ham also pairs exceptionally well with a dry rosé like Valley of the Moon Winery Rosato di Sangiovese. In contrast, lamb is bold and rich in flavor, and pairs best with a full-bodied, well-structured red wine – Lake Sonoma Winery Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Merlot, Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon and Valley of the Moon Winery Cuvée de la Luna (a Cabernet-based, Bordeaux-inspired blend) would all be great choices.

With so many possible Easter Brunch menu variations, one wine can struggle to accompany everything and please everyone. So take the easy way out and serve a white (California champagne or still wine) and a red. It’s a special occasion and your family will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Happy Easter.

-- For more info visit Kenwood Vineyards