For when you need your autumn fix
Recipe: Chickpea Pancakes (Vegan)
Bottle: Domaine Désiré Petit Cremant du Jura N.V. (NB: unknown whether animal-based fining agents are used)
OK, having relocated back to the West Coast nearly five years ago now, there are times when I definitely miss living on the East Coast, and autumn is one of them. The changing of the leaves, the smell of baked goods wafting throught the cold winds. Don't get me wrong - I am very thankful for not having to shovel my car out of a few feet of snow in the morning, but autumn just doesn't feel the same when it's 75°F outside.
Fortunately, there are always baked goods and boozy brunches to help recreate the cozy and colorful autumn that I crave. It was with this mindset that I set out this morning to craft a tasty, vegan autumn brunch. I have tried numerous vegan pancake recipes in the past, and they were all delicious and satisfying. Let's be honest though - it is kind of hard to screw up frying flour-based treats.
Today, however, I wanted to find something a bit on the earthier side to help recreate the wet-leaves and dirt of a misty autumn morning. I happened to have some chickpea flour (aka. gram flour) in the cupboard, so I searched for a recipe that featured this great gluten-free alternative to all-purpose flour. After some comparison shopping among the recipes, I decided on this delicious looking and straight-forward recipe from the Mindful Avocado.
Seeing as this was brunch, I knew that I wanted either a sparkling wine or a sparkling wine-based drink such as a mimosa. As I began to cook, the aroma of roasted nuts began to fill the house, instantly reminding me of the yeasty, occassionally nutty, aromas of a good Blanc de Blancs Champagne (made 100% from Chardonnay grapes). Unfortunately, I did not have any solely Chardonnay Champagne in the house, but I did have a 100% Chardonnay Crémant du Jura from Pupillin. Honestly, the pairing was even better!
My Recommendation - Crémant du Jura
Not only did this Crémant du Jura exhibit the yeasty, nutty, bready aromas that I wanted, it also added aromas of baked apple and spice. This perfectly complimented the chickpea pancakes, rounding out the autumn brunch vibe and enveloping the house in the aromas of the season.
Located near France's eastern border with Switzerland, the Jura has a cool climate that can vary from similar to that of Burgundy during the spring and summer, but can be far colder during the autumn and winter with more rain than neighboring Burgundy. Most of the soil in the region is limestone with an assortment of shale and other clay topsoils. These clay topsoils help retain heat during the colder months, as well as with drainage from the excessive rains of the Jura.
Why this bottle in particular?
Domaine Désiré Petit is a family-owned winery in Pupillin that has been caring for their vineyard for the past 87 years, but has longlasting ties to winemaking that can be traced back to the mid-1600s. Currently run by the great-grandchildren of the winery's founder, the Domaine produces a blanc Crémant du Jura, as well as a Rosé. The blanc has gone on to win the Médaille d’Or au Concours des Vins du Jura in 2008, and is crafted from vines that are over 20 years old. Their Crémant du Jura blanc is made entirely from Chardonnay grapes, which helps give the wine the yeasty, earthy aromas that pair so well with this recipe.
This sparkling wine works so well with these vegan pancakes thanks to those rich apple and bread aromas that charactize the wine. The slight nuttiness to the wine further enhances the pancakes, bringing out the chickpea in the dough. Overall, this is a great pairing for those autumnal weekend mornings when you want to do nothing more than cozy up and watch the leaves fall outside your window.
Other Great Choices
Sparkling: Blanc de Blancs Champagne, Crémant de Bourgogne (look for Chardonnay-heavy bottles), Crémant de Limoux, Crémant de Savoie, and CA Sparkling Wine (again, look for those made with predominantly Chardonnay)