“Instead of England’s early Sunday dinner, a postchurch ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare? By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” Guy Beringer, “Brunch: A Plea,” Hunter’s Weekly, 1895
That was the first known record of the word “Brunch”, but who would argue with Beringer 118 years later? We’ve celebrated Mother’s Day this month and Father’s Day is coming soon; there’s one thing we can be sure of – there’ll be a lot of Sunday brunches eaten in May and June!
What will you be drinking with your brunch? Take a step back from your regular wines and consider wines that are idea for the middle of the day. Here’s two from Opimian.
6584 Borgo Alla Terra Vernaccia Di San Gimignano 2011, DOCG
San Gimignano, in Tuscany, is a classified UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the Middle Ages it was a prominent trading post on pilgrimage routes, and a producer of saffron. Today, the town is known for its dry white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Borgo Alla Terra Vernaccia has a delicious nose of white peaches and almonds, which follow through on the creamy palate. The wine shows plenty of fruit and acidity and is beautifully balanced between the two, making it ideal for a dish with an element of richness, such as Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict.  M9 D9
6334 Höpler Gruner Veltliner 2011, Burgenland
This much-awarded wine is perfect for brunch. How many times have you heard people say that they can’t find a wine to pair with asparagus – well, look no further! Grüner Veltliner is the perfect complement to both asparagus and artichokes. Ever so slightly off-dry, Höpler Grüner has aromas of candied lemons and a delightful freshness, with flavours of green vegetables and leaves, and a hint of apple, with a long finish. Asparagus and cheese pudding (see recipe below) is perfect with this wine, an ideal brunch dish for sharing with the one you love.  M9 D9
Asparagus and Cheese Pudding, Serves 2
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
100g asparagus cooked and cut into 1 cm pieces
100g mature cheddar, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper
Garlic to taste
1 tsp mustard
2 large eggs separated
Preheat oven to 400º F
1. Heat the milk to just below boiling point, stir in breadcrumbs and leave 20 minutes.
2. Stir in asparagus, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper, mustard and egg yolks.
3. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold evenly through the mixture. Spoon quickly into greased 800-900ml dish.
4. Bake 25-30 minutes until risen and golden brown. Serve immediately.