I decided to try something a bit unconventional today: wine with breakfast. It’s an Easy (-Like) Sunday Mornin’—the middle day of a long weekend—and why not? We are full-time fancy! So I poured a cup of coffee and set to preparing one of my favorite Southern cookin’ meals: Gravy and Biscuits. This was a staple for me growing up in Texas; my grandmother would make us gravy when my brother, cousin, and I would spend the night; both of my parents would make gravy on various Saturday mornings (although they would likely debate who actually taught me to make it). I’m no Paula Dean, to be sure—I don’t use butter in my gravy. I also don’t make sausage gravy, as it is (at least to me) always too salty. How do I do it? I fry up a pound of bacon and use the grease to make my roux. Yummy and nutritious! Our First Lady would be super-proud, I’m sure!
I debated a bit (and sought some advice from a trusted source) on what wine might pair with gravy and biscuits. Some type of sparkling comes to mind first when thinking of breakfast, but I wanted to think a bit more outside the box. I ended up going with a Viognier (despite my Texas upbringing, I know this isn’t pronounced “Vee-ahg-nee-ehrr”) hoping the acidity would hold up to the creaminess of the gravy (and believe me, my gravy is creamy-good) and that the lighter fruit notes would: 1) make up for the fact that this meal is laden with artery clogging goodness, and 2) be a surrogate for orange juice. I’m not sure if it worked out exactly as I had hoped, but we did pop the cork on a bottle a little before noon to start a lazy Sunday.
2009 Copain Viognier Tous Ensemble, Mendocino, California
On the nose, I got a little honeydew and lemon, complemented by a hint of vanilla. There were also some flowery notes in there, too.
The palate brought the citrus—lime, orange, and lemon, respectively. The acid on the Copain was firm and the medium finish had a nice, honeyed character. An hour or so into the bottle, mineral notes started to emerge.
So did the pairing with gravy, biscuits, bacon, scrambled eggs, and hash browns work? Sort of. The acid of the wine did stand up to the gravy. None of the components of the meal clashed with the wine, but I think there may be better pairings out there. As for the meal itself, it had both the Rib and me “Dancin’ on the Ceiling,” but I’m pleased to report that I ate way fewer biscuits than I normally do; I’m predicting a little reprise of this meal for dinner tonight.
I thought the wine overall was above average. For about $20, I would give it another try with a more traditional food pairing—maybe a creamy cheese or grilled chicken or seafood. Were I to pair a wine with this particular meal again, I would go with a Crémant de Bourgogne—a wine that sparkles like the eyes of my “Endless Love.”
So what are the advantages of pairing wine with a late-Sunday morning country breakfast? First and foremost, you’re drinking wine before noon in the name of “research.” Almost as impressive, though? Given the result of the later opening of last night’s selection, when I walked into the house from getting the newspaper, I was reminded of a Marcy Playground song, except the “candy” in this case was bacon and wine. Not too shabby! Now I’m thinking of yet another Lionel Richie song, ’cause Sunday afternoon’s not looking too bad, either… “Truly!”
Cheers from the Corkpit,