The Best Type Of Wine To Serve With Pancakes And Waffles

Pairing wine with brunch can be a bit of a challenge. Sure, you can opt for sparkling wine or a mimosa, which is a great choice, since the acidity of sparkling wine is the perfect foil for rich dishes like eggs Benedict that frequent brunch menus. In fact, we recently hit up Amanda Davenport, Beverage Director of Noisette, a French-inspired brunch hotspot in Denver, who gave a ringing endorsement of sparkling wine with brunch fare.

Yes, mimosas and sparkling wine are the obvious beverage pairings for brunch, but what if you're looking for something outside the box to accompany your waffles and pancakes? Davenport gave us an unexpected suggestion, reinforcing why it can be so eye-opening to put yourself in the experienced hands of a restaurant's wine expert or sommelier. 

What could be better with pancakes and waffles than a wine known for its distinctive flavors of dried fruit, honey, caramelized nuts, and a whiff of salt air? Davenport's brunch wine pick is a bit out there, and we think it's brilliant.

Try serving Madeira with pancakes and waffles

Since pancakes and waffles are often dressed up with butter and maple syrup, pairing them with wine can stump even an experienced wine drinker. Noisette's Beverage Director, Amanda Davenport has the solution: "Since these items can also be a little sweeter, a fun, off-the-path pairing could be a Madeira. These often-aged wines from Portugal can have this really unique nutty, salty, sweet flavor profile," which makes them a perfect, creative suggestion.

Madeira, made on the island of Madeira, which is situated off the coast of Portugal, is wholly unusual, according to Usual Wines. Typically, winemakers go to great lengths to keep their wines from being exposed to heat or air. Wines that are oxidized (from exposure to air) or maderized (from being heated) are flawed ... unless they're Madeira. Madeira is fortified with brandy because historically, these wines were made to be shipped great distances, exposing the wines to wildly varying temperatures and a range of elements. 

The resulting wines were so distinctive that modern Madeira producers painstakingly reproduce the conditions that yield wines that are rich, powerful, and also will keep practically forever. Typically served after dinner, Davenport points out that Madeira's honeyed, sweet complexity, brimming with notes of toffee and slight salinity works almost like maple syrup does as a flavor enhancer for golden brown pancakes or waffles.