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The Brunch Bunch

Bubblies to brighten up any breakfast

By Warren Rojas

Is there anything more decadent than breaking open a bottle of bubbly first thing in the morning?


But confidence is high any easily offended dining companions will graciously overlook your opulent overture if you make sure to pour them a carbonated eye-opener.

Kathy Morgan believes that, in many ways, serving sparkling wines with our favorite late-morning repast makes perfect sense.

“What makes them absolutely perfect with brunch is that they make great accompaniments for eggs—and most wines do not,” Morgan counsels, further postulating that “anything salty, tangy, toasty, spicy or crunchy can be successfully served with sparkling wines.”

For an all-purpose wake-me-up, Morgan likes NV [Non-Vintage] Bisol “Jeio” Prosecco ($17), a “dry, light and refreshing” sparkling wine from the famed Valdobiaddene region of northeastern Italy. “At Harry’s Bar in Venice, Bisol is the Prosecco of choice for their famous Belinis,” she states.

Suzanne McGrath prefers to get things started with NV J. Laurens Cremant de Limoux ($18), a sparkling wine produced in southwestern France, near the Spanish border.

“Although the sparkling wines of the region are traditionally made from the obscure Mauzac grape, this one blends Mauzac with Chardonnay, to produce a rich, toasty sparkler that walks and talks like Champagne —for about half the price,” McGrath says of the noteworthy blend.

Moving even further west, Paul Yohai says he prefers to perk up his Mimosas—a beverage Yohai heralds for not only providing “your vitamin C for the day, but a renewed attitude”—with the NV Marquis de Monistrol Cava ($8). “These Spanish sparklers use local grapes, but undergo secondary fermentation in the bottle, just like Champagne,” he says.

Morgan suggests that traditionalists, on the other hand, should enjoy the unadulterated pleasure of NV Gosset Brut Excellence Champagne ($40), a true French Champagne she claims is “richly textured and beautifully balanced…[and] made in a friendly, lively style.”

When absolutely nothing but bona fide Champagne will do, Yohai recommends reaching for a bottle of De Margerie Grand Cru Brut Rose ($33), a Pinot Noir-based bubbly from the well-respected village of Bouzy within Champagne proper.

“Perfect with poached or smoked salmon, this pale pink sparkler features tiny bubbles that glide across your palate, melting into a long pleasing finish,” he suggests.

If you are still standing after all that, McGrath suggests you save some room for the effervescent pleasures of a little NV Caves Carod Clairette de Die ($14).

“This little-known sparkler from southern France’s Rhone Valley is similar in style to Moscato d’Asti from Italy,” she says, urging any intrepid imbibers to “serve it with a batch of Bananas Foster for a happy ending to any brunch.”

(April 2007)

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