Pancakes and wine might not seem the most obvious of partnerships, but any excuse to open a bottle (or two) should never be missed. Shrove Tuesday is nearly upon and this pre-Lent blow out is a perfect occasion to bring wine and pancakes together. Plus, flipping skills are sure to improve after a nice glass of Pinot Noir. Here are five classic pancakes (savoury and sweet) and the wines you should match them….
Lemon and sugar
‘Go for a decent off-dry prosecco, as long as it’s not too dry,’ says Alan Wright of Bristol’s Clifton Wine Cellars. ‘Anything too sweet like a Sauternes is a waste of money as it will be too sticky.’ A little sweetness is a good thing: buy a dry wine to go with something as saccharine as a pancake and it risks tasting like vinegar.
Buy: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Conegliano Prosecco (Sainsbury’s, £10)
American-style with maple syrup
The light spongy texture of our pancake’s American cousin is a comfortable match for fizz. ‘Try and find something that has a brioche-type flavour to it like Cremant de Limoux,’ says Karolina Kulesza of Laithwaites Wine. ‘It’s a decadent pairing but why not?’ Alternatively, if you want to go out and out sweet, look for an Australian Rutherglen. These wines have some of the highest sugar contents in the world but if your pancake is going to get lost in syrup you might as well go for it.
Buy: Cuvee Royale Brut Cremant de Limoux NV (£11.99, Waitrose) or Campbells Rutherglen Muscat (£12.99, Waitrose)
The gloopy delights of chocolate oozing from a pancake are best paired with an equally viscous and vigorous drink. An under-appreciated Muscat is the black variety. ‘It’s one of the few wines that actually goes well with chocolate,’ says Alan. A bottle of decent port would also do the trick.
Buy: Andrew Quady Elysium Black Muscat 2015 (Majestic, £11.99)
That’s ham and cheese (and the odd cornichon) to you and me. Reds are good with cheese but aim for the lighter end of the scale. ‘Something like a Pinot Noir from the south of France tends to be fresher and have a little more fruit than a Burgundy,’ recommends Karolina. If you want to try something different, sup Dolcetto d’Alba, the Italian’s answer to Pinot Noir, which has a young, fruity taste.
Buy: Asda Extra Special Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2013 (Asda, £7.98) or Prunotto Dolcetto d’Alba 2015 (Laithwaites, £14.99)
Spinach and ricotta
The go-to filling for a vegetarian pancake is matched with something equally as creamy in texture and taste. Alan suggests a Gavi or any of the Macon wines from France, which have a round flavour you can hold on to. ‘Avoid Sauvignon Blanc – nothing dry like that,’ he says. To impress, an Alsace Pinot Gris, with its buttery finish, delivers a Lurpak level of satisfaction.
Buy: Vallade Gavi 2015 (Tesco, £5.50) or Cave de Beblenheim Pinot Gris Reserve