Who said brunch means only your favorite egg casserole, mounds of bacon, and freshly baked scones? Not me! Breakfast and lunch foods are typically on my brunch menu…and plenty of them! A successful brunch, one with any variation of eggs, flavorful breads, savory vegetable dishes, succulent meats, herbed seafood, tasty desserts, and more, will satisfy any palate, especially mine. If you’re hungry before brunch, you certainly won’t be afterwards – maybe not until the next day!

An amazing group of wine and food pairing bloggers, the #winePW crew of which I’m a part, is ramping up its style this month. We’re suggesting recipes with wines to match that will be exceptional additions to your brunchtime entertaining. Join our conversation on Twitter on Saturday, May 13 at 10am Central Time. We’d love to have you share your favorite brunch recipes and interesting wine pairings.



Let’s get this brunch started!

Frankly, this topic inspired me to find a new brunch recipe and wine pairing since I tend to create and serve (again and again) comfortable dishes that everyone craves…and that goes for the wines, too. But recently, I tried something new: Buckwheat Cheddar Blini with Smoked Salmon served with a classic Peach Bellini. Not only were eyes glistening with tears in appreciation, palates were thankful, too. Who knew that my friends and family were as tired of noshing these time-worn brunch items as I?

Bottom line? The pairing was absolutely mouthwatering.

The Peach Bellini was made in a snap by combining 2 ounces of peach juice to 4 ounces of Cinzano Sparkling Prosecco ($11.99), sent to me as a sample. Perhaps you’ve heard of Cinzano, a brand from the Veneto region in Italy, that is renown worldwide for its Vermouth. In 1850, Cinzano produced their first sparkling wine and today, bubbles that range from sweet to dry are readily available.

brunch prosecco bellini
The crowd-pleasing Bellini was a lovely complement to the flavors of the Buckwheat Cheddar Blini with Smoked Salmon. The Cinzano Sparkling Prosecco’s fruit forward profile and sweetness, thanks to the peach juice and residual sugar already present, complemented the smoky notes of the salmon and pungent flavors of the cheddar and chives. Blinis and a Bellini? I may have more friends dropping by each morning!

Buckwheat-Cheddar Blini with Smoked Salmon


  • 1 1/2 tablespoon snipped chives, plus more for garnish
  • 2oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cups buckwheat flour
  • 4oz sliced smoked salmon (cut into thin strips)
  • 2 Large egg whites
  • 2/3 cups skim milk
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder


Step 1
In a medium bowl, whisk the buckwheat flour, baking powder, and dry mustard.Whisk in the milk until smooth. Add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of chives and the cheddar and season the batter with salt and pepper.
Step 2
In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form. Whisk one-fourth of the whites into the batter. Fold in the remaining whites.
Step 3
Heat a griddle over moderate heat until very hot and spray with vegetable oil spray. Spoon 1 tablespoon mounds of batter onto the griddle and cook until bubbles form around the edges of the blini, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the blini for about 30 seconds longer.
Step 4
Transfer the blini to a platter and top with the smoked salmon and a dollop of sour cream. Garnish the blini with chives and serve right away.
Step 5

brunch blinis

Cheers to brunch! ~ Cindy

For more delectable brunch recipes and wine pairings, check out these suggestions from the #winePW crew!

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  1. Reply

    These blinis look so good – perfect for a spring brunch! And they’re kind of fancy, too – perfect for company. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Cindy. Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Cindy Rynning


      You’re right, Lauren – I’ll be making these little bites for appetizers before a dinner party. Cheers to you!

  2. Michelle Williams


    What a cool brunch idea! I’ve never made Belinis. Super impressed!

    • Cindy Rynning


      Yes!! And thank you…these little pancakes were amazing with the smoked salmon and sour cream!

    • Cindy Rynning


      Thanks, Lori – and so incredibly easy to put together! Cheers!

  3. Reply

    I love the elegance of this pairing… not a bleary-eyed, pj-wearing, syrup-scented affair at all. Delish!

    Thanks for these suggestions, Cindy. Headed to a vaca rental in St. Helena with my lifelong bestie + hubbies. This would be excellent before the day gets into gear!

  4. Reply

    I have to say this is a revelation. I’ve always been a fan of blini, but never with a fruity, cinzano pairing. I have to try it. I’ve always gone with a sourer wine. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to over the weekend.

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