Easter Food and Wine Matching

Easter Sunday means different things for different people. For some it’s a chance to get together and spend time with family members, for others it’s a chance to search around the garden for eggs made of chocolate which somehow get laid by a rabbit, but for me it’s special for another reason, Easter lunch.

The British are no strangers to a roast dinner and it hardly takes much of an excuse for us to indulge in our national dish. With the exception of Christmas day, Easter is the big one, and as we all know no special meal is complete without some equally fantastic wines to go with it. I have therefore taken it upon myself to suggest four wines to go with four courses.

Starter; Asparagus Spears, Parma Ham, and Poached Duck Egg

Fergus, our resident agricultural specialist, reliably informs me that very early asparagus is currently in season and this classic would be a perfect Spring starter for Easter lunch. When pairing a wine with this dish there are a number of elements which need taking into account. You have the delicate flavour and texture of the asparagus, the saltiness of the meat, and the creaminess of the yolk, all of which require a white wine. Traditional wisdom would dictate that an aromatic white such as a Sancerre would work as the zingy acidity would complement the saltiness of the meat,whilst the wines herbaceousness would work with the greener flavours of the asparagus. However I happen to know from personal experience that a slightly sweeter wine such as a Vouvray perfectly compliments duck egg as well as softening any saltiness in the rest of the meal and would be my wine choice for this dish.

Main Course; Lamb Roast

Due to the rich, deep nature of roast lamb a great many wines will pair nicely but there are few that compliment it quite as well as Rioja. The toasty vanilla and cinnamon notes and rich red current fruit just seem to blend exquisitely with the rich earthier tones of the meat to create a completely new flavour experience. Alternately try a deep, complex Pinot Noir with aromas of dark cherry and cassis.

Dessert; Chocolate Eggs

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without ploughing through dozens of chocolate eggs both before and after the main meal, and if you fancy a tipple with your chocolate we have a couple of suggestions. Chocolate can be a tricky food to match a wine with as most dry wines just don’t quite agree with it. This leaves sweet wines and there are two in particular that I would recommend. If its a light milk chocolate then the ideal match is Maury from the South of France. This wine is able to balance sweetness, dark fruit, and body to work harmoniously with the creamy milkiness of the chocolate to create a richer, more satisfying experience. If the chocolate is dark then the sweet Vermouth from Cocchi is the ideal partner. The rich viscosity of this fortified Italian wine counteracts the bitterness of the chocolate for a softer, fruitier, more mellow mouth feel.

Cheeseboard

Pairing wines with a cheeseboard depends very much upon one important factor, the cheese. Whilst convention seems to dictate that one should pair red wine with cheese I certainly wouldn’t recommend opening that bottle of Chateauneuf de Pape you’ve been aging for the last 10 years for goats cheese of a soft creamy blue. For a delicately flavoured cheese my preference would be a zingy dry white such as a Pouilly Fume or a Torrontes. If the cheese is strong and pungent the full bodied reds come into their own. Strong cheddars pair brilliantly with left bank Bordeaux whilst a stinky blue can stand up to something full flavoured from Rhone. Despite all of this one of the most versatile drinks I have come across when it comes to cheese matching is a figue liqueur form Dijon in France. It has the perfect balance of depth, body, and sweetness to accompany all manner of styles and will last for many months once opened.

So there you have it. Easter dinner according to Pete from Weavers. We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on anything wine, food, Easter, rabbit, or egg related so either send us an email at grapevine@weaverswines.com or give us a shout on Twitter at @weaverswines

Thanks for reading and have a great Easter.

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