As I was going through one of my reader pages, I stumbled upon a post from The Accidental Hedonist, presenting a version of a recipe called eggs en meurette – i.e., poached eggs in a red wine sauce. It brought back memories of a restaurant called the Chanoine Kir, after the man who gave his name to the drink mixing white wine with a touch of cassis liqueur, where the eggs were a classic element of Sunday brunches. I thought it was quite fantastic, with the red wine, onions, mushrooms and lardons giving the poached eggs a whole new dimension.
Now, the Accidental Hedonist recipe calls for poaching the eggs in water, and then laying on the reduced wine and beef consommé sauce. Poaching the eggs in the wine sauce, as is done in this somewhat complicated recipe from Epicurious, gives them a lovely color and more taste. The wine recommendations provided with the Epicurious recipe (a simple, not overly ripe pinot noir for cooking, a richer style for drinking with the dish) are right on the money.
If you like this idea of pairing eggs with wine, another great, satisfying dish is huevos a la flamenca, or eggs “gypsy” style. The idea is to bake eggs in a hot oven, in a spicy tomato and ham sauce. The mix of the tomato sauce and the egg yolk is just amazing, and a consistent, expansive Spanish red will do wonders with it. Here is a decent recipe for eggs flamenca, although I would tend to simplify it a bit: no asparagus tips or artichoke hearts, and blending the green peas into the tomato sauce, just before putting it in the dishes that you’ll slip into the oven. The oven should be set around 400 F, so the eggs cook well and evenly. A full-bodied red from Bierzo, Ribera del Duero or Montsant, for example, will be especially great. You might even want to put a splash in the sauce.
Note that in both cases, the recipe involves a sauce that has a decent amount of acidity (from the wine or from the tomatoes), which helps cut the fat from the eggs and thus, gives the wine a push in the right direction. Red wine with your sunny side ups wouldn’t have as much success.