Pairing ideas for Pancake Day

Stack of pancakes with lemon and sugar for wine pairing ideas for Shrove Tuesday

The day may go by several names – Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Fastnacht – but today we’re going to focus on one of its other names: Pancake Day! Along with the choice of toppings, there is another important decision to make; what to pair with your pancakes?

Pairings for sweet pancakes

There is just so much choice when it comes to pancake toppings and many of us will go to the sweet side of the list when creating our favourite combinations on Pancake Day.

For those who are topping your pancakes with red berries, a rosé with flavours of raspberries or strawberries would be just the ticket. Head to Provence where you can find, this Côtes de Provence Whispering Angel or this Côtes de Provence Cuvée du Prieuré. And if you want to be decadent, how about strawberries and cream with a Champagne from Billecart-Salmon?

If smothering your pancakes in maple syrup is your thing and you have a sweet tooth, you’ll probably want to find a sweet wine that can contend with the sweetness of the syrup. In this case, we’d recommend finding a Port or a Sauternes. Some of our favourites are Porto Quevedo Colheita, a Sauternes from Château Rieussec or a bottle of Château Suduiraut. But be warned, these pairing ideas won’t be for everyone, as not everybody likes to pair sweet food with a sweet wine.

When chocolate is your go-to topping, it’s best to choose a fortified wine, such as Banyuls, Rivesaltes, Maury or Port which will echo the bitterness in the cacao. And if you sprinkle some red currants or other red fruits over your chocolatey stack, choose a vintage vin doux naturel (a type of fortified wine). These wines will not have been aged in wood so their fruity aromas will pair wonderfully with the added fruit.

Taking inspiration from the home of French crêpes, Brittany, you could drizzle salted caramel sauce over your pancakes. Here, we’d opt for something slightly sweet that still has some acidity. Travel down to the French wine region just south of Brittany and choose a Vouvray, available in both sweet and sparkling styles, or an off-dry wine from Alsace.

The classic lemon and sugar

Thinking about your topping options may have led you to reminisce about squeezing lemon juice over your pancakes followed by a sprinkling of sugar. This sweet and sour mix is certainly a classic and many people’s favourite combination. There are a few pairing options to choose from here. You could go for a sweet Muscat from southern France, a Riesling Spätlese or Auslese from Germany, or a demi-sec bottle of Champagne.

Moving away from wine, you could consider pairing this combination with a perry. The flavours in the pear cider pair well with the tart, sweet pancakes, and our favourite for lemon and sugar is Mayenne Poiré Authentique.

But what about savoury pancakes?

If you’re thinking about enveloping cheese and ham in your pancake, you have a few options. You could opt for a warm-climate Chardonnay like this one from Glenelly Estate, or an acidic wine to cut through the grease such as those made from Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. With these pancakes, you could again change things up and go for a cider instead.

When choosing a mushroom filling, perhaps with spinach or cheese, it’s best to stay away from red wines high in tannins. Therefore, we propose going for a Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley or a Pinot Noir. After looking through the wines available on iDealwine, we would suggest either Saumur Clos Tue-Loup from Arnaud Lambert or Arbois Pinot Noir from Domaine Des Bodines.

We hope you have found a new pairing option for Pancake Day. Now, all you have to do is order your wine – or cider – and practice flipping pancakes!

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Jessica Rees

Jessica is the English translator at iDealwine. Alongside her work translating the blog, website and emails, she also writes her own articles for the blog. Hailing from Wales, she lived in Germany before putting down roots in France.