Best Pancake and Wine Pairings

Shrove Tuesday is practically upon us and is as good an excuse as any to crack open some interesting wines to pair with your pancakes (if you need an excuse that is, we don’t). We’re sure that everyone has their go-to recipe, whether that be sweet or savoury, but why not make 2020 the year you try something different? We have picked six pancakes, some of which you’ve probably never heard of, and six wines that pair perfectly with them.
 
Okonomiyaki
Hugely popular in Japan, okonomiyaki is a savoury pancake bursting with delicious umami flavour. Traditionally it’s made from okonomiyaki flour, dashi stock, eggs and cabbage filling, plus whatever you have to hand and a load of garnishes (typically kewpie mayo, brown sauce and dancing bonito flakes). Our favourite recipe comes from food writer Sudi Pigott of sudifoodie.com which takes inspiration from Osaka where all the ingredients are mixed together (her book Flipping Good is the holy bible of pancake recipes and well-worth a read). Pair with Riesling or a lovely sparkling rosé from West Sussex.
 
Wiston Estate Rosé, NV
£26.00 / bottle
 
Wiston Estate Rose NV
 
"This is a joyous warm-weather fizz striking just the right balance between accessibility and interest. Its perfumed nose hints at summer fruits (redcurrants and raspberry) before a creamy, textured palate adds gravitas." Hamish Anderson, The Telegraph
 
Mücver
Mücver is a traditional Turkish pancake or fritter made from grated courgettes and fried in olive oil. Very easy to make and surprisingly delicious, mücver’s mild and simple flavour benefits most from the razor-sharp acidity and citrus notes of a Sauvignon Blanc. These characteristics are realised most clearly by a cooler terroir, so look towards Sancerre or New Zealand.
 
Alpha Domus The Pilot Sauvignon Blanc, 2017
£16.80 / bottle
 
Alpha Domus The Pilot Sauvignon Blanc
 
"A fresh lively Hawke's Bay Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of pear, lime, gooseberry and riper tropical fruits. On the palate, a crisp palate with lemongrass, passionfruit, fennel and above all lime. The palate shows typical Hawke's Bay richness and softness, with a ripe texutre." Alpha Domus
 
Raggmunk
Native to Sweden, raggmunk is exactly the kind of heart-warming winter fare one needs when the days last barely more than 6 hours. Cooked with shredded potatoes, raggmunk is fried in butter and traditionally served with fried salted pork (substitute for bacon) and sweetened lingonberries. For pairing you will need something that balances out the sweetness of the berries with the saltiness of the bacon – a Moscato or Riesling will do the trick.
 
Domaine Nadine Ferrand Macon Blanc, 2018
£16.50 / bottle
 
Domaine Nadine Ferrand Macon Blanc 2018
 
""1 ha of 30 year old vines, located on the top of the hill, next to the winery. Lovely honeysuckle and honeycomb notes, white flowers and a touch of cinnamon dusted melon and tropical fruits on the nose. Juicy and succulent but a rich vein of fresh acidity and great crunchy apple finish. This is a very good entrée de gamme Macon." Tom Harrow, Wine Director
 
Farinata
A hallmark of unfussy cuisine, almost every region in Italy claims to have invented farinata. Its key ingredient is chickpea flour and its most celebrated expression comes from Genoa, where it’s cooked with salt, water, olive oil, black pepper and a few sprigs of rosemary. Farinata has few natural bedfellows but we are particularly fond of serving this with a classic Pinot Noir from Burgundy, where the earthiness and juicy acidity marries perfectly with the chickpeas.
 
Albert Bichot Bourgogne Cote d'Or Pinot Noir 'Secret de Famille', 2018
£18.30 / bottle
 
Albert Bichot Bourgogne Cote d'Or Pinot Noir 'Secret de Famille' 2018
 
""Juicy redcurrant and cranberry fruit with great openness of fragrance, yet tension of structure – lovely acidic zing, then rather full body for Bourgogne. Finishes with charming earthy tones. A great advert for how ambitious Bourgogne can be." Jancis Robinson
 
Dosas
Any worthy list of pancakes would do well to include the dosa. With mysterious origins from South India, the dosa is made using a fermented batter of rice and black gram (a type of bean) and is traditionally served alongside Samber and a selection of chutneys. Indian cuisine has often befuddled wine drinkers when it comes to pairings but according to Raj Vaidya, head sommelier of New York’s Michelin three-star Daniel, dosas go very well with champagne. We’re not entirely sure why but it’s certainly worth a try.
 
Nyetimber Classic Cuvée, NV
£36.20 / bottle
 
Nyetimber Classic Cuvée
 
"Nyetimber, near Horsham in West Sussex, has always been a trailblazer. Established in 1988 by an American couple, the Mosses, it was the first English wine estate to concentrate on the champagne grapes Pinot and Chardonnay and to import winemaking expertise from Champagne. Soon after they released their first wine in the mid-1990s, it “beat” many a champagne in a blind tasting in the FT offices." Jancis Robinson
 
Jianbing
Last on our list is a delicious Chinese street-food style breakfast pancake – jianbing. Very similar to the French crepe, China’s gift to pancake making is a no-nonsense breakfast combining spices, scallions and a fried egg, an Asiatic blend guaranteed to shake off any residual morning drowsiness. As is so often the case with unusual foods, Riesling is once again your friend here and its rich, vibrant acidity and off-dry sweetness provide the perfect foil for jianbing’s saltiness and spice.
 
Clemens Busch Riesling Trocken vom roten Schiefer, 2015
£21.60 / bottle
 
Clemens Busch Riesling Trocken vom roten Schiefer
 
"The 2015 Riesling vom roten Schiefer is a very elegant, well balanced and mineral Riesling with juicy as well as finely piquant and spicy fruit expression. There is a lot of finesse and elegance in this wine, as well as a pretty long, intense and grippy finish." Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate
 
 
Banner Photograph Credit: Maja Smend