Fizzy Fun at Your Romantic Brunch #WinePW

#WinePW Wine Pairing for Romance! Our Wine Pairing Weekend group’s assignment for February is to create a romantic food & wine pairing. You’ll find links to all the posts at the bottom of this page. Please take a look at all the great ideas. Valentine’s Day and Any Day What better way to create a romantic morning than brunch in bed?  Today we’re pairing a lightly sweet Italian sparkling red wine with lox and bagels for an easy, fun romantic brunch. lox_brachetto_winePW_20150131_151 3 Steps to Romantic Brunch Success Follow these 3 steps and you’re guaranteed to enjoy a successful romantic brunch: 1. Involve your Love Interest in the Process. Usually, I’m the cook, photo stylist and photographer of the food and wine you see here.  My wife, Julie, has fun supporting my crazy efforts and she’s happy to eat, drink, and share in the clean-up. Today, we chose the menu together, she took on the role of chief food stylist, and we had a ball working together. Try it!

My food stylist!

My food stylist!

2. Keep it Simple! Romantic mornings are made for relaxing, so keep the kitchen prep work to a minimum. Choose a dish that comes together quickly and enjoy the time with your partner. Lox and bagels are a treat, and somehow, we rarely fix them, so why not today?

Quick preparation allows time together out of the kitchen

Quick preparation allows time together outside of the kitchen

3. Sparkling Wine Makes Any Event a Party We always have sparkling wine chilled and ready at our house.  Friends stopping by?  Good day?  Bad day?  Open that Cava, Cremant, Prosecco, etc… Sparkling wine makes any occasion special, but what to choose for a romantic brunch?

Slightly sweet, definitely bubbly - Brunch Party!

Slightly sweet, definitely bubbly – Brunch Party!

We’re usually “Brut” fans, but brunch often goes even better with something just a bit sweet.  Why do you think Mimosa’s are popular in the morning?  With our Valentine theme today, we decided to try a new sparkling wine: Brachetto d’Acqui. Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG Brachetto d’Acqui is a lightly sweet sparkling wine from the Acqui Terme, an area in the southeastern corner of the Piemonte region of Italy.  The wine is from Brachetto grapes, and is made into a sparkling wine by the Charmat method, a bit like Prosecco.  It’s know for fresh bright red fruit flavors. Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG ($20 at France 44) Banfi Piemonte is another vineyard and winery owned by the Banfi Vintners, well known in Tuscany.  Banfi Piemonte produces all of Banfi’s sparkling wines, including their Brachetto d’Acqui, Rosa Regale. Eye: Clear with lively bubbles, good persistence. Bright red, transparent, lighter than a Pinot Noir, darker than a rosé. Nose: bright red fruit, strawberries, cranberries, a touch candied. Mouth: Sweet, but excellent tart acidity to balance.  Strong red fruit flavor, think of it as a sparkling juice to place it at a brunch.


Make sure you serve some fresh fruit, as the wine showcases similar flavors

Wine Pairing for Lox, Bagels and Cream Cheese Brachetto d’Acqui was a perfect match for the food in our brunch.  Lightly sweet, it still offered a tart acidity to cleanse the palate as well as highlighting the fresh fruit we served alongside. Who can argue the inviting bright red sparkling color at a romantic brunch? We thought a nice Moscato d’Asti would also work well, or an Extra Dry Prosecco. We usually prefer dry sparkling wines, and we did open a Cremant d’Alsace to test.  It was a lovely wine, with a bit of minerality, but it clashed with something in the food, producing a metallic aftertaste that wasn’t present when drinking the wine alone.  Whether it was the capers or the smoked salmon, I don’t know.  I do know that we left it behind at brunch and enjoyed it later in the day. More Romantic Ideas from Wine Pairing Weekend Bloggers Be sure to check out what my fellow bloggers have come up with for the February Wine Pairing Weekend!

Join the #winePW conversation: Follow the #winePW conversation on Twitter throughout the weekend and beyond. If you’re reading this early enough, you can join us for a live Twitter chat on our theme “It’s All About Romance” on Saturday, February 14, from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern Time. You can also visit our group Pinterest board to pin some great pairing ideas for later! Stay tuned for the March Wine Pairing Weekend, which will be on Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lox of Love, Bagels & Cream Cheese

Brachetto d’Acqui, a lightly sweet sparkling red wine from Italy pairs beautifully with the food. Also, Extra Dry Prosecco, or Moscato d’Asti would be nice.


  • 5 oz. package of thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 2 fresh bagelslox_brachetto_winePW_20150131_25
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 lemon, for a squeeze of fresh juice
  • thinly sliced green tops from 2 scallions
  • 1 tsp capers, plus additional capers for topping
  • 1 tsp chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, more whole leaves for garnish
  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced thinly or chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced paper thin
  • a few sprigs of fresh dill


  • In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, lemon zest, green scallion tops, capers, and parsley. Add a fresh squeeze of lemon juice if needed.
  • Slice and toast bagels, let cool slightly
  • Spread cream cheese mixture on top
  • Add slices of smoked salmon and top with red onion, capers, chopped egg and dill.
  • Presto! Who wants to spend hours in the kitchen when romance is on the menu?


30 Responses to “Fizzy Fun at Your Romantic Brunch #WinePW”
  1. culinarycam says:

    That is a beautiful brunch dish! Thanks for playing along with #winePW.

  2. talkavino says:

    Looks beautiful! I’m curious how Rosa Regale would work with the savory bagel – are you going to share your thoughts later on?

    • The wine was very fruit forward and just a bit sweet, but had tart acidity. It was very nice with the lox, bagel & cheese. Magical? No, but very good. The surprise at the meal was the brut Cremant we tried, the wine was very nice but took on unpleasant metallic notes with the food. That was unexpected!

  3. Lynda says:

    Way to go Julie! New profession?

  4. Love the Brachetto selection! It’s wonderful your wife has fun with these events too,

  5. How decadent! Looks like delicious fun. Xo

  6. Great tips! Your brunch looks delicious!

  7. says:

    Did Julie wake up to this today?? Wow! Amazing 🙂


    Lynne Pelos-Owner iOTA~Pelos Sandberg Vineyard 612.281.3639


  8. Jade Helm says:

    Brunch is the MOST romantic meal.

  9. This is so my speed. Pink bubbles, salmon, cream cheese, bagels for brunch. Rockin’ it! Reminds me of brunch at the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge in Northbend, Washington. Twin Peaks country. Thank you!

  10. Nancy Brazil says:

    Beautiful pairing! You’ve inspired me to find a Brachetto d’acqui to try.

    Your food stylist gets two thumbs up! Very nice post.


  11. I can totally see the Rosa Regale being a good pairing with Brunch, especially the Bagel, Lox and Cream Cheese! I appreciate the comments about the Brut Cremant not quite working. Photos are fantastic as always. Great post!

  12. Wow this dish look amazing!!!

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