Bill Buford Explains Why You Should Be Poaching Your Eggs in Wine

This French dish makes for a perfect meal any time of the day

Eggs variety of white and brown eggs in a carton
If you haven't been poaching eggs in wine, it might be time to start.
Jakub Kapusnak/Unsplash

Whether you’re having them scrambled first thing in the morning or as part of a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, eggs make for a delicious part of a meal. Learning how to correctly poach one’s eggs can be a bit of a challenge, but it’s also eminently rewarding. But poaching eggs in water (or, depending on your method, water with a little vinegar) is only one of the ways you can cook eggs in this style — and Bill Buford, noted observer of all things culinary, has news of a next-level method of poaching eggs.

In a new article for The New Yorker, Buford explores the making of oeufs en meurette — which, as you’ve probably gleaned, is a French method of poaching. Specifically, it involves poaching eggs in red wine.

Intrigued yet? If not, here’s Buford’s explanation of the rest of the meal: “Traditionally, it is served with freshwater fish of the region, which only makes sense (red wine with fish?) when you know the other ingredients: onions, mushrooms, garlic, and smoked or cured pork belly: i.e., bacon.” Poached eggs, fish and bacon? That’s a fine trio if ever there was one.

Buford notes that the dish is traditionally made with a Pinot Noir from Burgundy, though he also spoke with Russell Hone, who has plenty of experience making the dish, who contends that a Côtes du Rhône works as well. Hone favors a one-pot approach, reducing the wine with bacon and onions and then poaching the eggs in that; from there, you’d place the eggs onto fried bread and add the sauce. In the article, Buford offers tips on his own approach to making the dish. He notes that it works for both brunch and dinner — a meal as versatile as the eggs at its heart.


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