The Best Wines To Sip With Brunch According To The Pros

What really separates brunch from breakfast? Is brunch just an expensive breakfast eaten late? Not necessarily. Breakfast is practical. It's what you feed yourself in the morning to power you through the day. Brunch, on the other hand, is decadent. Brunch is a time for fluffy waffles piled with fruit and whipped cream, big slices of custardy quiche, or poached eggs atop butter-soaked English muffins drizzled with creamy, lemony hollandaise sauce. Brunch is a meal to linger over. Brunch is a meal to drink a glass of wine with.


Chowhound spoke with a host of experts, including Charly Naranjo, hotel sommelier at Fontainebleau Miami Beach; Chef Nicole Brisson of Las Vegas' Brezza and Bar Zazu; Amanda Davenport, wine director of Denver's Noisette; and Jayson Goldstein, food and beverage director at YOTEL Boston's Vela Seaport and Deck 12. When it comes to pairing wine with brunch, a unanimous suggestion from the pros is that the tried and true brunch booze really is the best: You can't go wrong with a bottle of bubbles (though unfizzy wines pair with the portmanteau meal just as easily).

Light and bubbly wines are universally adored for brunch

Sparkling wines are a brunch favorite because those bubbles balance a broad range of flavors, from bold to subtle — including a wide variety of egg dishes. Amanda Davenport explains "I always suggest sparkling wine or a light, crisp white wine. Eggs are delicate, it's easy to overpower them." Refreshing, bubbly wines match well a light morning meal and staple brunch dishes like omelettes and eggs on toast without overshadowing them. Additionally, as Jayson Goldstein points out, sparkling wines tend to have lower ABVs and are easier on the palate with subtler flavors and aromas.


Charly Naranjo shares the sentiment, but explains that the pleasantly sharp taste and the light carbonation of sparkling wines are a refreshing foil to understated eggs dishes. In particular, Naranjo says, "I recommend a sparkling wine such as Champagne, cava, or prosecco because of their high acidity and effervescence, which cuts through the richness of eggs and refreshes the palate," the sommelier says. "The bubbles also add a delightful texture contrast." 

Also in the go-bubbly camp, Chef Nicole Brisson specifically recommends GH Mumm Grand Cordon Brut Champagne — (Brut means it's dry, by the way). Brisson says, "You need something bright and refreshing to pair with eggs ... GH Mumm is crisp and elegant with beautiful acid which lends itself to the rich, salty, delicate flavors of the egg really well."


Still wines still have their place at the brunch table

If you're not a fan of sparkling wine, don't despair; Amanda Davenport says you can really choose any light, crisp white wine, which includes whatever blends fit your budget. Many sparkling wines feature chardonnay grapes in their blends, but if you don't like bubbles, Charly Naranjo recommends unoaked chardonnay. He says, that the wine's minerality enhances the subtle flavors in egg dishes, while the it's acidity and citrus notes complement the creamy texture of eggs without overpowering their delicate flavor.


Rosé is another great option, especially if your idea of an ideal brunch isn't eggs, but rather diving into a big stack of delicious, sweet carbs. Naranjo references the "balance of acidity and fruitiness" found in these wines that makes them agreeable with all kinds of dishes, from savory to sugary whether that's a pile of pancakes or a big batch of eggs Benedict.

Still, perhaps the most universal advice comes from Jayson Goldstein. "At the end of the day," he says, "you should drink whatever wine you like with or without eggs. Drink what you like with no judgments!" And really, that's what brunch is all about.