Easter Dinner Wine Pairing???


Easter Sunday is just a few days away.  You are probably already planning what will be included in your Easter dinner…but what about the wine?  Well, that depends on what you are serving.

A majority of Easter recipes for ham include some sweetness — whole hams crosshatched, even spiral-cut, glazed with unctuous toppings including pineapple juice, peaches, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, blueberry jam, cola, root beer, even dessert wines such as Madeira or Marsala.

These mostly call for wines with a hint of sweetness. An off-dry Riesling works well.  For the more adventurous, you may want to try a Gewurztraminer.

But your Easter ham may not be sweet.  You can do a decidedly not-sweet glaze of spicy mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, black pepper and garlic. These go well with light, fruity, dry red wines such as pinot noir. Or try a dry rosé. It figures: If white wine goes with white meat and red wine goes with red meat, why wouldn’t pink wine go with pink meat? And it does, very nicely.

Lamb, for its part, has wonderful rich, meaty flavors lend themselves to a wide range of recipes and a wide range of red wines.

For example, Allrecipes.com features roast lamb in several forms:

▪ It can be simply scented with garlic and rosemary and go well with a Merlot.

▪ It can be crusted with parmesan and breadcrumbs plus mustard, garlic and mint leaves, and it can be matched by a rich Malbec.

▪ Roasted or grilled, try a more fully-bodied wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or a red from Southern Italy.

▪ Or your lamb could be marinated in red wine vinegar, raspberry jam and rosemary, and be nicely paired with a fruity red Valpolicella from Italy.

As for roast chicken, try a lighter red wine like Beaujolais or a more full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay.

When dessert arrives, you need to pair the sweetness of the dessert with the sweetness of the wine, whether a sweet Riesling or another dessert wine.  As an alternative, for a fresh fruit dessert, choose a wine that is equally refreshing, like Moscato d’Asti. It’s generally light in alcohol, with just enough sugar to match our gently sweet dessert.

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