Step Up Your Breakfast Wine Game Beyond the Mimosa

Yellow cocktail on a bright background.

I love mimosas and any variation of a bubbly cocktail, but I don’t want you to let mimosas stand in the way of your breakfast wine potential. Breakfast foods have great wine pairing possibilities and mimosas, though classic, are really only the the tip of the breakfast wine iceburg. 

I’ve divided my breakfast wine recommendations into three categories based on their most prominent attributes: (1) Floral and Aromatic, (2) Green and Citrus, and (3) Notable Minerality. Within each category, you’ll find a summary of the characteristics of the wines along with pairing recommendations.

Floral and Aromatic Wines

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Floral and aromatic wines typically have the sweetness in aroma without sweetness in flavor. Aromas of white flowers and roses with flavors of  peaches and pears are among the attributes of these wines. These varietals have depth in both smells and flavors while avoiding any overbearing characteristics. 

Pairing: Waffles, pancakes, french toast, bacon, biscuits and gravy.

Varietals: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Aligote, Torrontes, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Lacrima (if you’re interested in a red varietal, serve lightly chilled)


Green and Citrus Wines

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The wine isn’t ACTUALLY green, though many have a green hue or rim when observed in the glass. “Green wines” refer to the aromas and tastes of several wine varietals with attributes of grass, limes, and fresh herbs. Citrus notes often accompany these traits, creating a bright and fresh nature to the wine. Interestingly, green wines are among the few varietals that achieve successful pairings with the most challenging foods: salads, grilled vegetables and eggs. 

Pairing: Omelettes, mixed salads, prosciutto and cantaloupe salad, crudités

Varietals: Sylvaner, Albarino, Verdicchio, Soave, Loureiro


Notable Minerality

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Oh minerality: the trait that many can identify but few can describe. Some compare minerality to seashells, gravel, salt water, limestone, or sand and several wine varietals are known for possessing characteristics of minerality. The bottom line: if you’re enjoying seafood, the best-known pairings are champagne and wine varietals with high minerality. 

Pairing: peel-and-eat shrimp, sushi, crab legs/claws, crab cakes, OYSTERS, mussels, clams, bagels with lox

Varietals: Champagne or California Sparkling Wines (no juice necessary!), Provençal rosé, Muscadet, Picpoul 

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