Besides drinking wine on the cheap, it's my favorite thing about the job.
Cheese questions (what do I serve with Manchego or fresh chevre) are especially prominent. Then, of course, there are the seasonal requests. In the summer, people ask what to serve with grilled chicken, corn on the cob, or hot dogs. Around Thanksgiving, people wonder what to drink with turkey and sweet potatoes. And just to mix things up, our customers sprinkle in an odd question or two (what do I serve with a spicy, red pepper lasagna with tofu béchamel sauce over fake chicken with pork).
But within the last few months, one wine pairing request in particular has surfaced the most among our lovely guests. It has nothing to do with béchamel or BBQ or spiced side dishes. Instead, it has to do with meals served earlier in the day. People want to know what to pair with their breakfast eggs. Be assured that I understand my dear wine drinkers. One can only drink coffee for so long before it seems dull. Overbearing. Heavy. I'm surprised that we lasted this long. But hold on to your pajama pants, I have an answer.
Sparkling wine. I prefer Champagne myself, which is only made in the Champagne region of France, from Pinot Noir or Chardonnay grapes. I mean, sure, I'll happily sip Prosecco or Cava with lunch or mixed with orange juice, but breakfast eggs seem to call for something a bit more spectacular. As breakfast IS the most important meal of the day, the one that sets the tone for the following hours, it makes sense to go big. Go French. Go elite. Wear a cute little apron while scrambling the eggs. One of my favorite egg breakfasts, pictured above, is an egg sandwich that my husband makes. His father makes it for him when we visit, and if we have a son, he will probably make it for his loved ones too. Champagne is the perfect match for this sandwich. Rather than overwhelming the lush filling like dark, thick coffee would, the bubbles cut some of the fat from the oozing cheese and buttery bread and highlight the overall breakfast egg experience. It's fabulous, and I bet that any egg dish, omelette, quiche, or frittata that you serve will be made more spectacular too, by Champagne, at breakfast time.
Also works for breakfast at dinner.
Kirstin Jackson Ellis works as a wine bar manager and wine and food consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area and writes about wine and food pairing at Vin de La Table, her luxurious and lighthearted blog.