Pancakes: impossible food-wine pairing?!?

pancake stack

It’s National Pancake Week starting March 1–who knew? The timing coincides with the week before Mardi Gras, since pancakes have been a temptation worth avoiding during lent for 2,000 years now.

Site reader John G. requests that we get a jump on this hedonism a little early. I’m a pancake purist myself making them from scratch since it is so easy and tasty. After many years of suffering through inferior syrup (and–be damned–fake maple syrup!), I’ve discovered Grade B maple syrup. Darker in color and richer in flavor, it’s the best kept secret in syrup because the “B” thing reeks of inferiority. But don’t be fooled, it’s the real deal and well worth the tariff.

As to the pairing, I think nothing goes better with a stack of pancakes than a cup of hot, black coffee. But perhaps you are more daring than I. What do you think–which wine would you pair with pancakes, or is it impossible?!?

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33 Responses to “Pancakes: impossible food-wine pairing?!?”


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Wine Workshops, winelogs. winelogs said: Pancakes: impossible food-wine pairing?!?: It’s National Pancake Week starting March 1–who knew? The tim… http://wi-n.es/1/gl-u #wine […]


  2. Grade B maple syrup is the berries. The bee’s knees. The cat’s pajamas. Grade B is like unfiltered olive oil–it retains the flavor that filtering removes. In both cases, cosmetics have won the war but that leave the good stuff for the rest of us.


  3. Probably some sweet wine like Sauternes. I don’t like maple syrup that much, so I’d probably go with blueberries. Maybe Eroica or one of those sweet rieslings. Maybe albarino. That being said, I don’t plan to drink wine with my pancakes unless it’s mimosas.


  4. The winemaker at Logan Wines in Australia suggests that his Moscato is great with any brunch food: pancakes with syrup, bacon, etc. I haven’t been brave enough to try it, but I bet it could make Sunday brunch with the in-laws a little more fun ;)


  5. 4 – 5 Puttonyos Tokaji Aszu…


  6. If you want to be really decadent – Puffeney’s Vin de Paille from the Jura. It’s like funky maple syrup with a hint of a side of bacon all in one bottle. It’s so good, sometimes I dream about it.


  7. If you’re having your pancakes for breakfast/brunch, then mimosas. If you’re having breakfast-for-dinner, I’d have something dry, white and bright – Sauv Blanc or certain South African Chenin Blancs or a Brut sparkling wine.


  8. We do pancakes for dinner quite often (a simple pleasure). In the past we have paired a Shiraz or a Pinot Noir with it. It is actually a nice combination, especially since I often use a Triple Ginger Pancake recipe.


  9. Champagne or a good California sparkling wine… dry to off-dry would probably work best with a high amount of Chardonnay in the blend.


  10. Depends on the syrup, if one used. I recently had the duck confit waffles at Tyler Florence’s new restaurant, and they were very good with Pinot. They leaned more to the savory side than the sweet side though…


  11. Shmear butter all over the pancakes. Pour any Mollydooker Shiraz on top. Serve.


  12. A fruity Burgundy Cremant, not too dry. Unfortunately my favorite one isn’t sold outside of France.


  13. Anything rated 97+ or better is bound to work.
    ;)


  14. Might one consider a glass of Muscat Canelli with pancakes, fresh strawberries, and pineapple chunks in natural juice? hold the syrup, of any type!!!


  15. Pedro Ximinez sherry. Hands down, something from an old solera, 10-40 weight that looks like motor oil and tastes like, well, like the perfect topping for pancakes. Don’t even drink it, just use it as syrup!


  16. skip the syrup and just pour muscat de beaumes de venise on top. or a good quality cream sherry. or off dry chardonnay based leesy bubbles. if they are blueberry pancakes go with brachetto.


  17. 1 cup of Pinot. 1 cup of sugar. Reduce. Reduce. Reduce over low heat. Drown pancakes sufficiently in Pinot syrup. That’s how The Farmer takes his breakfast every morning.


  18. I would try a White Port from Kopke as something like pancakes will require a certain degree of acidity to cut through the butter and sweet syrup, and the port’s almond notes will complement the batter.


  19. Thin, slightly sour buttermilk (or sourdough!) pancakes. Real butter. Grade B maple. Thick smokey bacon. Petite Sirah. Nuff said.


  20. Some funny stuff here!

    Via email, reader Doug G writes: This is a no brainer. Just pour slightly warmed Pedro Ximenez 1927 Dulce Viejo right on that stack of hot cakes. Forget about maple syrup, butter or anything else. The PX already tastes like the best pancakes, syrup and butter combo you ever had! In fact, you can even forget the pancakes if you want.

    Via twitter, there were lots of comments, such as @howardggoldberg who suggested: Pancakes and wine? A slam-dunk. Slam a dozen on a plate, and dunk ‘em in Pedro Ximénez. Then order an oxygen tent.

    @winecouver: Definitely not! Pair pancakes with an aged Rutherglen Muscat/Muscadelle. You don’t even need syrup!

    @wiengolb: Set alc/vol of Muscat to cakefluffinessfactor =A+

    @kenpayton: Maybe an old Port or Moscatel de Setubal instead of syrup. Might be interesting. I say might!

    @winekath: try the smokey baconness of @hillsidewines pinotage. lite on syrup tho!

    @stewartbcellars: Pinot Noir w/ pancakes & smoky bacon. Sublime pairing that was Athena’s b-day gift during harvest ’08

    @klwines: How abt the kimichi pancakes on @seriouseats (http://bit.ly/fzSJLr) w/ the 2009 Frisk “Prickly” Riesling-Muscat

    among others!


  21. I think the folks who said skip the syrup and pour PX on it were dead on.

    Jenn Thomson’s Pinot syrup is something I’ll probably actually try as well.

    How ’bout Vin Santo? Or Malmsey? With or without syrup…


  22. I’m thinking only a hard-core drinker would need wine with pancakes. But recently we sampled a Zinfandel that ws heavy on cherry & chocolate. Too sweet for me, but might go great with pancakes.


  23. Two days ago, I was served a Cotes Du Rhone, erroneously chilled to about 20 degrees. It was at a chocolate shop.

    I could see it with bacon… and maybe crepes

    But for pancakes Ide love a tall flute of Cristalino Rosé, maybe with a few strawberries, any time of the day

    Beast regards,
    Grape Ape NYC


  24. Cornmeal, oatmeal, bisquick? It matters. Blueberries? But the (hopefully) maple syrup will be the most important factor, if present. Only two wines are rich and sweet enough to handle maple syrup. Rutherglen stickies (muscat or muscadelle), or PX sherry. Do you drink coffee at breakfast? Definitely PX.


  25. As someone who spends a lot of time in VT, I can definitely vouch for pure Vermont Grade B [better than A, less sweet] for baking and eating and more nutritious [and can be mail ordered for those out of state]. Nonetheless, the pinot reduction, which if you added a cinnamon stick and another cup of wine, would be what I poach pears in before reducing [another great pancake topping], does sound good. I would recommend trying Eden Ice Cider though. Apple and maple can be yummy.


  26. Yep, PX was the first thing I thought of, but I wonder if the combination of sweet pancakes, sweet syrup and sweet wine would be two one-sided. Maybe beer?


  27. I would say a Burgundy – something earthy, lighter-bodied and with a bit more acid. Pairing with a sweet wine would be too much sweetness. Unless it was a rose. A rose could go very well with pancakes!


  28. Not so sure about the wine pairings, but when it comes to pancakes, you really need to know about this friend of mine: http://www.jimspancakes.com/


  29. First thought: Oremus Tokaji Szamorodni which is a dessert wine similar to Tokaji Aszu, but a little lighter..Perfect match.
    Second thought: Beaume de Venice


  30. Penfold’s Grandfather. Nuff sed.


  31. RL Buller Tawny Muscat from Victoria


  32. I have to agree with the Muscat group here! Something decadent, go big or go home! I also like the idea of making some kind of reduction as well. So many things to try. Happy pancake week!


  33. I’d pair it with Phillippe Bornard’s Tant Mieux…if only to justify drinking it in the morning (not that an excuse would be totally necessary…)


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