Between Winter’s silvery chill and Summer’s golden heat is the mellow yellow, shimmering warmth of Spring sunshine.
Between the minerally leanness of Alpine Pinot Grigio and lush California Chardonnay is Pinot Blanc, a specialty of the Alsace region of northeast France.
Pinot Blanc (PEE-no BLAHNK) is the white-skinned member of the Pinot family, a cousin of grey-skinned Grigio.
With ripe apple and pear flavors and firm acidity, it was once confused with Chardonnay, but bypasses Chardonnay’s weight, power and complexity. Like a perfect house guest, Pinot Blanc is comfortably refreshing, never demanding.
In Chicagoland’s dynamic dining scene, I revel in the intricate preparations of the finest restaurants, the three-alarm blaze of ethnic spices, the socio-political challenge of fusion cuisines, paired with complex, complementary wines. But when my palate and I need a rest, I choose comfort food and Pinot Blanc.
Like eggs. The original comfort food, eggs offer nutrition, texture, flavor and fond memories.
Pinot Blanc’s soft acidity refreshes the palate from egg’s richness; it’s not-too-dry, not-too-sweet flavor echoes the underlying sweetness of delicious fat, while balancing salt, pepper and other egg seasonings.
Alsace has also made a specialty of eggs, famously the Quiche Lorraine made with eggs, cream and bacon. Tarte à l’oignon is the regional onion and egg tart.
Christian Beyer, 14th generation winegrower of Domaine Emile Beyer, recommends Alsace Chef Olivier Nasti’s “perfect egg” recipe, prepared with almonds, hollandaise and shaved truffle. “At home, you’ll need to put a little money aside for the truffle,” Beyer laughs.
For your own perfect egg breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, visit The Chopping Block’s blog 100,000 Ways to Eat an Egg. For basic egg prep technique, check out Put an Egg in It and The Perfect Soft Boiled Egg,
For your Pinot Blanc complement, TCB offers:
Pinot Blanc “Tradition”, Domaine Emile Beyer 2016, Alsace, France: Inviting aromas of white flowers with just-ripe pear and apple flavors and bright acidity, to pair with the widest range of lighter cuisine including appetizers, seafood, softly spicy dishes, poultry and the lightest meats and eggs. ($26)
Cremant d’Alsace “Clos St. Landelin”, Mure NV, Alsace, France: Delicate, jewel-bright bubbles, caressing texture and crystal-clean flavor, farmed from northern France’s sun-drenched peaks by the twelfth-generation of Mure’s. A blend of Pinot’s Blanc, Gris, Auxerrois and Gris with a dash of Riesling. An easy, elegant cocktail and complement to all hors d'oeuvres and lighter fare. ($25.50)
Sit back and let our chefs prepare Quiche with Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Chives along with other breakfast delights during our Mother’s Day Demonstration Brunch on Sunday, May 12 at both locations: