Unlike some other family- and food-centric holidays (ahem, Thanksgiving), Easter always seems pretty straightforward. Thankfully, that simplicity extends to wine pairing with the meal.
For starters, the Easter table is likely to feature one of two entrees – lamb or ham, thelatter usually with a sweet glaze or sauce – served with sides that are fresh and vibrant instead of heavy or sweet or both.
Put together, it means that picking the right wine isn’t much harder than discovering where the chocolate bunnies are hidden!
A beautiful ham offers lots of choices for pairing. The best white wine matches are either riesling or gewürztraminer. Look for wines that are on the dry side – not sweet! – and preferably from Germany or France’s Alsace region.
A non-oaky chardonnay can also work well, and your best bet is one from Burgundy.
Don’t worry, red wine lovers! You also have pairing options. Seek out fruitier red wines, such as zinfandel, pinot noir from Oregon or California, and grenache from Spain.
If you really want to make a bold choice, go for a rose Champagne or sparkling wine. It has a nice acidity that will cut through the sweet glaze while offering softly fruity flavor to complement the rest of the meal.
Lamb, on the other hand, is a dish that cries out for red wine with some heft to it. This time, oak and tannin are your friends. The classic match is a shiraz from the Rhone Valley.
Alternatively, look for a robust cabernet sauvignon – California or French will do nicely. Even a good pinot noir from Burgundy will offer a nice earthiness to complement the meat.
And what to drink with your chocolate bunny ears? (You know you’ve been saving them!) Try a Brachetto d’Aqui – a fruity, slightly fizzy sparkling red from Italy. But in a pinch, that rose Champagne you had with the ham makes a lovely choice as well. Bon appétit!