Why Champagne at Brunch
Champagne or Sparkling wine, both are excellent with brunch. Cheers to all things bubbly for breakfast! (Except that overly chipper morning person that has to brag about the daybreak accomplishments and 5K they already clocked in). Americans give Champagne a bad rap by thinking that it is only for special occasions. Thankfully, we can include the bubbly concoction in the brunch buffet and how timely to chat about this with both Easter (and soon Mother's Day) brunch offerings so popular in the County. Champagne is great for glorious brunch menus because it is probably one of the most versatile wines for pairing. And unless the meal includes steak or sweet desserts, it almost always will be compatible. Now, for the record, I need to bring to your attention that true Champagne is only from the Champagne region of France. Most of us will be enjoying sparkling wine. It is really a technicality of the method in which the wine's bubbles are created and sparkling wine shouldn't be thought of as a lesser version. Champagne contains high levels of acidity and a small amount of sugar. The two extremes compliment elements in almost any food, from a very mild fish to red-hot spicy dishes. Most restaurants don't list champagne as a feature item but feel compelled to have at least one option. I think restaurants should promote the versatility of pairing sparklings, but they face the economics of having a wine that will lose its effervescence if they sell it by the glass and do not have the interest. If the bottle doesn't sell, it will likely get dumped. My recommendation; drink the entire bottle people...it's Champagne! Most champagnes are a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, from across several vintages. Like any wine, champagnes range from sweet to dry.(Again, remember dry is the opposite of sweet in the wine world because it's a measure of residual sugar.) Some food pairings for traditional brut champagnes are things like scrambled eggs, any mushroom dish, nuts, especially almonds, aged, hard cheeses such as Parmesan, any pasta or risotto, especially with cream or mushroom sauce. Avoid heavy tomato-based sauces. The tomatoes clash with the high acidity of the champagne. Smoked salmon eggs benedict pairs well with brunch champagne. Looking for the go-to brunch in Door County? Alexander's of Fish Creek have mastered this, serving seafood Newburg, eggs Benedict, and crème brule French toast among the brunch basics and carving station with lamb and tenderloin of beer. Stone Harbor Resort and the Leathem Smith Lodge, both in Sturgeon Bay also offer a nice brunch buffet. Or try the White Linen brunch at the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek. Where ever you choose for brunch, give that Champagne a try... there's a better than good chance you'll have a perfect pairing and not even know it.