Brunch: more than a meal; it's a state of mind, a lifestyle, a sacred ritual for coming together with your crew and catching up on all the happenings of the week! It's my favorite meal because not only do sweet and savory items share equal real estate on a menu, but day-drinking is totally acceptable (if not encouraged!). But, if you're burnt out on Prosecco and looking for an alternative to a Bloody Mary or Mimosa, how do you know what to drink?
My lovely friend Ashton Keefe and I had this very conversation this past week when she had me on as a guest on her super fun and cute podcast, Lady Lair Live! Ashton is a chef, food stylist, culinary instructor and author--- and she and I share the same philosophies about eating and drinking: while we want to consume fabulous things, at the end of the day it's much more about how they make you feel than the technical aspects of what's on the plate or in the glass. It was so fun hanging out with Ashton, she's just the sweetest coolest girl (and has the most foodie-fab Instagram so you should definitely be following her over there!) On the podcast she taught me how to make these delicious Fried Egg Tortillas, you can get the recipe and listen to the podcast here (or search Lady Lair Live on your preferred podcast app!)
Here are my recs for the best wines to drink with brunch (you can shop the links below to get the wines!):
Vinho Verde (VEEN-yo VEHRD) is a light Portuguese white wine that's super fresh, fruity, and fun because it's a bit effervescent. It's not a wine cooler but almost has that vibe (in the best way possible). Vinho Verde translates to 'green wine' because the wine region is so lush with trees and other green vegetation. It's made from a pretty esoteric blend of Portuguese white grapes--- so don't worry too much about the raw materials here, just enjoy it. Often bottled under screw cap, readily available for less than $10 a bottle, and relatively light on the alcohol, pick up a bottle and you'll understand exactly why this is one of my top 'cheap and cheerful' wines for brunch!
Let me just get this out of the way: if you think all Riesling is sweet, you would be wrong. Riesling does run the spectrum of being quite sweet and luscious, full of honeyed white peach and apricot notes, to bone dry and incredibly crisp and refreshing. To make it easier to tell, lots of wineries are now printing 'Dry Riesling' on the label if it is one of the more crisp dry styles. Personally I truly enjoy both the sweet and the dry, depending on the context (quick tip: pair spicy food with sweeter wines)! One great source for good dry Riesling is New York's Fingerlakes wine region: the wines are light and pure, with a little floral aroma layered onto your stone fruit notes, and truly delightful.
Txakolina (CHOK-uh-LEEN-uh) is a wine region in Basque country on the seaside cliffs of Northern Spain. These wines are just mind-blowingly good! They are mostly white with some rosé expressions, and are lightly fizzy due to the way they're fermented. If you like your wines more on the savory side, Txakolina is very mineral (think chalky and even a bit salty) and the high acid profile makes them tangy--- sometimes even tart--- so if you like citrus-y cocktails or sour beers, I think this wine will be a super palate pleaser for you. They are wonderful in the heat of summer but I drink them all year round. Because of all that acidity, they are incredible partners in terms food pairing; they will keep your palate cleansed and refreshed while you're noshing on rich dishes (including anything covered in bacon or hollandaise.)