Choosing Wine for Easter Dinner
When it comes to choosing wine for Easter dinner, it is important to consider the flavors and textures of the food you will be preparing. Generally, medium-bodied reds and whites tend to pair well with Easter fare. Here are some options that would be safe bets to compliment your Easter dinner.
5 Wines To Drink With Easter Dinner
Chardonnay: This popular and versatile white will pair well with both chicken and fish dishes. Chardonnay is known for its flavors of apple, pear and citrus. It has a medium to full body which can nicely balance the richness of the Easter dishes.
Try: Chateau Souverain Chardonnay: Full-bodied from California with notes of roasted pear& soft spice. $13
Sauvignon Blanc: A crisp and refreshing white with a zippy acidity that pairs well with green veggies. Try pairing with spring salads, artichokes or asparagus. It is light and refreshing with crisp citrus and herbal notes which can cut through fatty or highly flavored dishes.
Try: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc– a fresh and juicy white with vibrant acidity. $12
Riesling: This light to medium-bodied white wine has a floral and fruity flavor that will pair well with spicy dishes, glazed ham and some lemony desserts. This is the best pairing for anything with spice as the sweetness compliments and balances the spiciness of the food. It’s acidity will cut through the richness of a ham. Try: Chateau Set Michelle Dry Riesling- a lovely and refreshing white with crisp elegance form Columbia Valley, Washington. $10
Pinot Noir: This food friendly, versatile red pairs well with a wide range of dishes from ham to roasted lamb. Pinot Noir is light to medium-bodied with a bright cherry fruit flavor that complements the sweetness of a glazed ham or herbal seasoning of the lamb. It is also the most popular pairing for roasted duck. Try: Meiomi Pinot Noir- A crowd pleasing, juicy red wine wine from California with jammy red fruit notes and a touch of vanilla. $25
Zinfandel: This full-bodied red sports flavors of dark berries and spice that pairs perfectly with hearty, rich and flavorful dishes like ham and roast turkey. The bold flavors in the wine can also stand up to heavier proteins such as lamb. Try: Carnivor Zinfandel- From Lodi California comes this delicious, juicy Zin with notes of spice and ripe dark fruits. $15
Popular Easter Dishes and Wines that Pair with them
Ultimately, the best wine for your Easter dinner is the wine you enjoy drinking! Obviously if you’re looking to pair wine with your dishes, it will depend on your taste preferences and what you plan on serving. Consider pairing a red and a white to give your guests more options. If you need some ideas, below is a list of recommended pairings for some popular Easter dishes. Don’t be afraid to try different styles and varietals to find your perfect match!
Wine Pairing with Roast Lamb
A symbol of springtime and renewal, this dish is popular in Christian tradition. The lamb represents the sacrifice of Jesus. Lamb is often roasted with copious amounts of rosemary and other herbs. A red with a medium to full body is recommended to stand up to the strong flavors of the meat and herbs. Here are some ideas for wine pairing with grilled or roasted lamb:
Cabernet Sauvignon: This full-bodied red has bold flavors of spice, black currant and plum with strong tannins that will compliment the richness of the lamb.
Syrah/Shiraz: This full-bodied red is a great pairing because of its rich blackberry, peppery and smokey flavors. They really enhance the herbs and spices used to season the meat. Because of its strong tannins this grape will stand up to the intensity of the lamb.
Chianti: This Italian red has a medium body with cherry, plum and leather notes. Chianti’s high acidity and sharp tannins will cut through the lams rich and gamey texture .
Pinot Noir: It might surprise you to find this light to medium-bodied red on our list, but like Chianti, it’s high acidity will help cut through the richness of this dish. The cherry, raspberry and earthy flavors of Pinot Noir will compliment all those herbs in the seasoning. Also it’s a great option for those who are new to drinking red.
Wine for Easter Ham
This classic Easter dish is popular in many countries but especially in the United States. The ham is usually glazed using a combination of brown sugar, honey and mustard which gives the dish both sweet and savory notes. Try pairing these wines with your Easter roasted ham:
Riesling: A crisp white with bright acidity showing apple, peach, and honey flavors. The sweeter notes of Riesling’s will complement the salinity of the ham and the acidity will cut through the richness of the meat.
Chardonnay: This well liked white has a medium to full body and flavors of apple, pear, and vanilla. Chardonnay’s richness stands up to the intensity of the ham, and its creamy texture will complement the meat’s flavor.
Pinot Noir: This light to medium-bodied red wine shows flavors of cherry, raspberry, and earth. Pinot Noir’s fruitiness can balance the saltiness of the ham and its soft tannins complement the meat’s texture.
Zinfandel: This is a full-flavored, full-bodied red with juicy flavors of blackberry, followed by spicy black pepper. The bold flavors in Zinfandel intensify the rich flavors of the ham and really bring out the salty, smoky notes.
Beaujolais: This is a lighter-bodied red wine,usually made from Gamay grapes, with lush red fruit flavors. Beaujolais’s fruity notes of strawberry and cherry complement the sweetness from the glaze while its soft tannins help to balance the saltiness of the ham.
Try: Louis Jabot Beaujolais-Villages-light and approachable 100% Gamay with dark cherry and strawberry notes.
Pairing Wine with Easter Sides
Spring Vegetables: Some popular Easter sides include asparagus, green beans, artichokes, fresh spring salads. When pairing, keep in mind the preparation as some might go better with grilled as opposed to sautéed or fresh. Here are some examples:
Sauvignon Blanc: Because of its light and crisp flavors of apple, pear and citrus, with grassy and herbal notes, Sauvignon Blanc is a great companion to those hard to pair veggies such as asparagus and artichoke.
Chardonnay: Due to Chardonnay’s richness along with hints of apple, pear and vanilla, it pairs well with stronger flavored grilled veggies such as asparagus.
Pinot Grigio: This light to medium bodied white wine offers flavors of lemony-lime citrus and tart apple. Because of the high acidity and fruitiness, Pinot Grigio is a great pairing for fresh greens and spring salads. Try: Jermann Pinot Grigio-zesty citrus with apple, honey and ginger notes $30
Rosé: This light and bright chilled cross between red and white wine is the perfect compliment to spring vegetables. Look for a crisp Rosé from Provence for crisp raspberry, strawberry and citrus notes. Try: Domaine Turenne Camille Rosé-A beautiful blend of Consult, Syrah and Granache with sophisticated notes of peach and apricot. $13
Potato Dishes: Roasted, mashed, scalloped or baked, the options for Easter potato sides are as plentiful as they are popular. Again, you’ll want to consider flavorings and preparation when selecting wine pairings. Here’s a few to get you started:
Chardonnay: Again, this bold, full-bodied wine shows up on our list for Easter food pairings with its lush flavors of apple and pear followed by vanilla notes, pair this white with mashed or scalloped potatoes.
Sauvignon Blanc: This crisp white has bright citrus flavors with high acidity that can cut through the richness of a creamy mashed potato.
Pinot Noir: This light to medium-bodied red can really compliment the herbs used on baked or roasted potatoes.
Malbec: This medium to full-bodied red sports flavors of blackberry, plum and pepper that compliment the buttery texture and richness of a baked potato.
Easter Dessert Wine Pairings
Easter Desserts: Easter desserts can range anywhere from decadent chocolate cakes to fruity tarts and fluffy pastries. You’ll need to consider flavors and preparations when selecting dessert wines. Here’s a few of our favorites to get you started:
Sparkling Wine: A versatile bubbly white with varying levels of sweetness can be a great compliment to lighter desserts like meringues or fruit tarts.
Moscato: This popular dessert wine is slightly effervescent with peach, apricot and honey flavors that compliment fruit-based desserts like sorbets or tarts.
Sauternes: This is a sweet white wine with concentrated flavors of vanilla, honey and stone fruit. Sauternes is full bodied with a round and weighty mouthfeel that pair well with rich treats such as bread pudding or crème brûlée.
Late Harvest Riesling: With rich favors of honey, apricot, and citrus this full-bodied, sweet white wine pairs nicely with creamy desserts such as cheesecake.
Tawny Port: This red wine is fortified with alcohol and sugar and aged resulting in concentrated flavors of dried fruit, caramel, and nuts. The sweet and nutty flavors pair perfectly with those chocolatey-based desserts.
The Winner for Best Overall Wine for Easter is Pinot Noir
If we had to choose one wine to pair with an entire Easter dinner, we would choose Pinot Noir. This light and delicate red is approachable to white wine drinkers yet will satisfy even a Cabernet drinker if it’s paired right. Its lighter and fruitier side accompanies sides while the acid and earth can stand up to heavier proteins. What wine will you choose for your Easter dinner? Let us know in the comments below!