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Dec 13, 2016
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WINE WITH…Pancetta, Shitake Mushroom & Cheese Omelets

Elizabeth David once wrote, “everybody knows [that] there is only one infallible recipe for the perfect omelet -- your own.” We love omelets, and we make them frequently. We also constantly tinker with everything about the process, from what type of pan to use (non-stick, stainless steel, cast iron), how to beat the eggs (vigorously and thoroughly or gently and lightly), and what kind of filling to use (classic and simple with just cheese, or fully loaded with meat and vegetables as well). The only sure thing we’ve discovered is that so long as the eggs aren’t overcooked, it’s hard to go wrong. Even if the folded or rolled omelet falls apart when it’s being transferred from skillet to plate, the result, though not be as pretty as you’d like, still will be tasty--and you can always use Julia Child’s technique for saving the appearance of any savory dish by sprinkling a shower of minced parsley over the top. No matter how you make it, you undoubtedly will find yours to be the perfect omelet.

Omelets are remarkably wine friendly. Almost any savory one will be tasty with white wine, and the addition of a little meat (bacon, ham, pancetta, pork belly, etc.) will make it a delicious partner for red wine too.

Pancetta, Shitake Mushroom, and Cheese Omelet

While it’s possible to make an omelet to serve two, in general it’s best to make individual omelets. This recipe is thus for one.

1 1/2 ounces pancetta, cut in large dice
1/4 cup diced onion
about 1 1/2 ounces shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2-3 eggs
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup grated Gruyère cheese
Optional: minced parsley and/or chives

In a medium-sized skillet, cook the onion, pancetta and mushrooms together, stirring frequently, until the pancetta is lightly browned and the onions and mushrooms are soft. While they are cooking, beat the eggs with a fork or whisk, and season them lightly with salt.

When the pancetta mixture is done, remove it to a bowl and reserve. Do not rinse out the pan. Over medium heat, add the butter to the pan. When the butter turns foamy pour in the eggs. Shake the pan around a couple of times to distribute the eggs. As they start to cook, lift up the edges here and there as the mass thickens, tipping the pan to let the uncooked egg flow underneath. Repeat this until there is a solid base of cooked egg at the bottom, but the top is still fairly loose. Lower the heat and spoon the pancetta mixture over half of the omelet. Add the cheese then fold the other half of the omelet over it. Shake the pan over the heat for another few seconds, then slide the omelet onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with parsley if desired.

* * *

This particular omelet works equally well with red and white wines. Look for one that feels soft on the palate--not too tannic if red or acidic if white--so as to echo the smooth texture of the eggy dish. White wines will tend to accent the taste of the eggs, while reds will do the same for the filling. It’s your choice, and the result most likely will be perfect because delicious.

Questions or comments? Contact us at [email protected]


Approx. Price


Angeline, Monterey County (California) Chardonnay “Reserve” 2015


So long as it doesn’t taste too oaky, Chardonnay is a great partner for egg-based dishes. This one shows some wood, but its bright autumnal fruit flavors prove dominant.

G. Descombes, Morgon, Beaujolais (France)


(Imported by Louis Dressner)


An earthy example of cru Beaujolais, with deeper flavors than most, this wine will bring out the equally earthy flavors of the mushrooms and pancetta in the omelet.


Pazo Señorans, Rias Baixas (Spain) Albarino


(Imported by European Cellars)


Though we think of this grape variety as a seafood partner, Albarino can be quite versatile at the supper table. This one, beautifully balanced, has a slightly salty edge. It emphasizes the rich, gooey cheese in the omelet.

Mirabelle by Schramsberg Brut (California) “Methode Traditionelle” NV


Dry sparkling wine can be a super partner for eggs, whether in an omelet, a soufflé, or just scrambled with toast. The bubbles provide a riveting contrast to the creamy texture of the dish. This one, full of bright fruit-driven flavor, certainly didn’t disappoint.

Te Kairanga, Martinborough (New Zealand) Pinot Noir


(Imported by Foley Family Wines)


A genuinely dry Pinot Noir, with none of the sappy sweetness that mars so many renditions these days, this wine’s dark cherry flavors and supple texture enhance the dish. It is a great partner for the mushrooms in the filling.