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  • The Chopping Blog

Bubbles for Breakfast

Mary Ross
Posted by Mary Ross on Dec 14, 2023


Unless you drink for a living as do I, morning alcohol consumption may not be a recommended lifestyle choice.  But in Chicagoland winters, when mornings-after don’t look much different than nights-before, breakfast is more of a concept than a time frame. And in a season with a few too many decisions, an easy decision to begin your day is to serve sparkling wine.

Scrubbing Bubbles

When dishes provide your recommended daily allowance (and maybe more) of fat, sparkling wine’s bubbles cleanse the palate for bite after refreshing bite. Cured salmon, egg dishes and fine steak are classic breakfast bubbly accompaniments; our modern world adds international cuisine like bacon and eggs, shrimp and grits and leftover pizza.

Champagne and Breakfast“Here’s to Champagne, the drink Divine, that helps us forget all our troubles. It’s made from a dollar’s worth of wine and $3 worth of bubbles.” (Anonymous)

For a little luxury, serve Champagne with elegant breakfast dishes.

Champagne is a match for the flavors and social status of truffles, some of the most highly valued flavors on earth.  At The Chopping Block, we offer Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs, Champagne Pierre Moncuit-Delos, NV Champagne, France ($74) to pair with truffled dishes. The wine is rich, round and creamy, 100% Chardonnay (indicated by ‘Blanc de Blancs’), matured on lees (expired yeast cells) to express evocative hints of truffle. For truffled dishes like scrambled eggs, mushroom risotto and mac ‘n cheese, you can skip fresh truffles’ average cost of $50 per ounce with a sprinkle of Ritrovo Truffle Salt (at TCB, 3.5 ounce, $27).

Truffle SaltIf it’s pastry you crave, Champagne’s lees-ageing process also endows wine with yeasty, toasty accents, often described as “baked brioche.” Serve Champagne Pierre Moncuit-Delos and other lees-aged Champagnes with dishes involving pastry and breads including Eggs Benedict, Croque Monsieur (deep-fried ham and cheese sandwich) or left-over turkey sandwich on brioche. 

Croque MonsieurFor richer dishes such as grilled salmon and red meats, select a rosè Champagne. TCB’s selection Cuvee Rosé Brut "Grand Cru", Champagne R.H. Coutier, NV, Champagne, France  ($72.00) is sumptuous, with power and finesse from an ample dose of Pinot Noir blended into Chardonnay. Dry, complex and classy, this is a meal-time bubbly for the richest vegetables, seafood and poultry, as well as red meats.  

What’s Best? Your Favorite Sweats or Silk Negligee?

But celebration doesn’t demand Champagne. Just as you may long for comfy sweats over fussy silk, you can avoid the effort required by complex Champagne with a range of international bubblies. Prosecco’s is today’s choice for easy enjoyment, on its own, splashed with O.J. or peach nectar, and with the widest range of casual dishes. At TCB, we offer Prosecco Superiore, Adami, "Bosco di Gica", Valdobiadenne, Italy ($26) with delicate, dry, and refreshing flavors. It’s guaranteed to add festivity to any occasion.


Sweeter for the Sweets

The one sticky bit in pairing bubbly with breakfast is the conflict with sweets. Wine is chockful of acids; when a dry wine (containing little to no sugar) is paired with a sweet dish, the wine tastes bitter and sour, even if you loved it with savory dishes. So, if you prefer pancakes with syrup over lobster crepes, choose a sweeter wine.

During my wine seminars, I love how guest comments switch from “Ew, it’s so sweet!” to “Wow! This is delicious!” when we pair sticky toffee pudding and other sweet dishes with Moscato d'Asti, Saracco, Piedmont, Italy ($21.) This big sister to Asti Spumante is heavenly sweet to pair with all dolce and sweet occasions, morning, noon and night.

Sticky Toffee Pudding“Here’s to a bright New Year and a fond farewell to the Old; here’s to the things that are yet to come, and to the memories that we hold.” (Anonymous)

If you’d like to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new with perfect pairings of sparkling wine and food (but no prep or clean-up) join me for Bubbles and Bites, a tasting of four dishes paired with Champagne, three international sparklers and a French 75 cocktail. Our discussion includes “the night they invented Champagne” and tips for pairing bubbly with food on Friday, December 29, 6:30pm.

"Champagne is one of the elegant extras in life." Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Register now


Topics: champagne, sparkling, bubbles, bubbly, sparkling wine, prosecco, wine pairing, food and wine pairing, wine and food pairing

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