Fat Tuesday's Fine Wine Pairings

Hank Zona's picks for pancakes

It's Fat Tuesday and all the world over, folks are scarfing down pancakes. And, at least in this country, a lot of folks are washing it down with coffee. Coffee is a nice beverage, it smells great, sometimes tastes great, it has caffeine...but it's not wine and it's often too acidic and tannic for food, especially breakfast food.

So, what to drink with pancakes (if you want, include waffles or French toast in there too)?

First choice would be a fun wine for a fun meal..and that would be a Brachetto d'Acqui. What's that? you ask. Brachetto is the grape, Acqui is the district in Piemonte, and it's a lighter sparkling red wine (typically lighter, less red wine tasting than a sparkling shiraz, I think). The acidity will cut through syrup and sugar and the fruitiness will complement well.

Or, try a rose sparkling wine...or make a mimosa/champagne cocktail with pear nectar or pear brandy or pear liqueur (I had a really great pear liqueur made from a pear brandy base out of the Hudson Valley in New York...it was so peary, I thought I could taste that little grit). If you want to go non-alcohol (you may have reasons to...I don't), look for a sparkling pear cider. Why pear? Its little and less cloying than the apple alternatives usually.

Now, go put some Beausoleil and Professor Longhair and the Meters and Irma Thomas and Allan Touissant on the victrola, or whatever vehicle you use to deliver your music, start making those pancakes (purple, gold and green food coloring optional), and open a fun beverage. Oh, and whenever possible, use a real syrup for those pancakes, not colored high-fructose corn syrup.

And no, no matter what you do, I'm not tossing out Mardi Gras beads to ya. You can try to persuade me however you like, but it's not happening. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

What's your suggestion for a pancake and wine pairing? Are there other holiday meals that puzzle you when it comes to choosing wine? Tell us in the comments.

Hank Zona March 08, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Melissa...Ive been tasting their wines for a few years now..theyre a really good producer...and their sparkling rose, like other sparkling roses, has a real berry characteristic, which I think goes nicely with breakfast (or nothing at all). The quality of wines coming from both forks of Long Island has really impressed me the past couple of years especially. Cheers!


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