When it comes to pairing beverages with egg dishes, many find the task a bit daunting. Eggs wear many culinary hats—from bright and brunchy to savory and seductively silky. And just like the versatility of the egg itself, complementary beverages abound—each with its own personality to consider.
Uova al Pomodoro.
This tomato-laden dish—with its generous hit of herbs and spices—features eggs poached in a rich sauce. It definitely needs a bold beverage, and what could be better than a pronounced, tomato-themed Bloody Mary? Try a version made with cactus moonshine from Texas Hill Country Distillers. For each cocktail, combine 4 ounces of Austin’s Lauren’s Garden Bloody Mary Mix, 1½ ounces of Texas Hill Country Distillers Prickly Pear Cactus Moonshine, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a dash of Tabasco. Stir to blend well and chill. Or if you prefer a beverage with lighter alcohol, try a Kölsch-style beer such as the Saint Arnold Brewing Company Santo—it’s a light-bodied beer with great notes of florals and distinctive malt, a fine match for the concentrated acid in the tomato sauce.
French Omelet with Smoked Gouda and Apple Compote.
With its kick of smoky Gouda cheese, this sophisticated omelet presents a unique pairing opportunity. How about something to parallel the apples…such as apple cider! Not just any apple cider will do, though. Try sparkling Grafter Rosé from Austin’s own Texas Keeper Cider. This racy potable is a blend made from Rome Beauty apple cider and Texas tempranillo wine (from Pedernales Cellars). The two are blended into a refreshing pink fizz, and the tempranillo—which is a great match for cheese—helps round out the smoky nuances of the Gouda.
Frittata with Swiss Chard, Golden Raisins, Pine Nuts and Pancetta.
The frittata is a prime example of the versatility of eggs. Chef Will Packwood’s version fits perfectly with a good Texas rosé, and one of the very best comes from legendary Texas winemaker, Kim McPherson. Try McPherson Cellars 2015 Les Copains dry rosé. A blend of cinsault, grenache and rolle grapes, this wine begs for a light dinner with its low tannin levels, delicate plummy flavor and nuances of herbs.
Poached Duck Egg with Baby Mustard Greens, Lardons, Sourdough Croutons and Shallot-Mustard Vinaigrette.
A great salad can be the perfect pairing for a well-selected beer. Hefeweizen is a German-style wheat beer with a well-rounded, soft yeasty flavor. It brings a taste addition to a meal that is akin to a good loaf of bread. Try the Lobo Hefe from Fredericksburg’s Pedernales Brewing Company. It’s produced in the Bavarian style from 50 percent malted barley and 50 percent malted wheat—resulting in an opaque, golden-straw-colored, effervescent beer.
Individual Fresh Berry Clafoutis with Crème Anglaise.
A sweet, summery dessert deserves a sweet sparkling wine. There are many produced in Texas, but a standout is the Lost Oak Winery 2012 Sweet Moscato. Because 2012 was a great year for muscat canelli grapes, the resulting abundant harvest allowed Lost Oak owner/winemaker Gene Estes to set aside a hefty portion of the grapes to produce a sparkling wine, and the wine he produced is stellar. It presents a medium-sweet, fruit-driven taste profile in sparkling frizzante style. It’s a great match to creamy sauces like the crème anglaise in this dish, and the bubbles lend lightness to this rich dessert.
Coffee Pots de Crème.
With its heavy espresso/coffee flavor profile and rich cream, this dessert presents two unique pairing possibilities. Because of the boldness and complexity, it can certainly handle a rich dessert wine such as the Haak Vineyards and Winery 2013 Blanc du Bois Madeira. Owner Raymond Haak is a pioneer at producing a true Madeira-style wine from the blanc du bois grape—a native hybrid grown in his estate vineyard near Galveston. The wine has aromatic fragrances of caramel, which follow through on the palate as soft nuances of caramel-coated apricots—making it a suited match for the loud coffee flavors in this dish. Another interesting pairing would be a Porter-style beer such as Austin’s 512 Brewing Company Pecan Porter. This full-bodied brew is nearly black in color, with nuances of malty sweetness and local pecans.
by Terry Thompson-Anderson