Easter celebration menus and gatherings can range from casual brunches and buffets to sit-down meals and “just desserts” egg hunts. Regardless of the setting, there’s a wine to fit almost any celebration.
Brunch: Champagne, rose, pinot grigio, Riesling, chardonnay
The charm of brunch lies in its leisurely approach in bridging the festive day activities from breakfast to well past lunch. Consider wines with the same style as your menu. If you are serving quiche and fruit then Champagne or light white wine would be ideal, but carved ham will require a more full-bodied white or rose.
- 2009 Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling, Oregon (about $13 retail)
- NV Iron Horse Classic Brut, California (about $44 retail)
Seated lunch or dinner: pinot noir, merlot, tempranillo, beaujolais, gruner veltliner, chenin blanc, pinot gris
In most homes the traditional Easter ham generally commands the attention of the main course. Light reds without overpowering tannins or whites without searing acidity are natural pairings with hams covered in sweet, spice and salt.
- 2009 Mirassou Winery Pinot Noir, California (about $12 retail)
- 2009 Hirsch Gruner Veltliner, Austria (about $21 retail)
Buffet: rose, merlot, pinot noir, gewurztraminer, Riesling
The buffet still offers the least stress and easiest way to serve guests. And you must admit, there’s something about the table laden with dishes that always creates a feeling of celebration. Serve a wine with the ability to stand up to the assortment of textures and tastes.
- 2009 Yalumba Y Series Merlot, Australia (about $14 retail)
- 2010 Turkey Flat Rose, Australia (about $24 retail)
Easter Egg Hunts and Chocolate: Moscato d’Asti, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, port
Of course even chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks have a wine pairing. But for those looking for a more refined chocolate match, keep in mind lighter chocolates pair best with light-bodied wines while full-bodied wines are best with robust darker chocolates. For example, the delicate Moscato d’Asti competes perfectly with the mellow butter flavors in many white chocolates, while cabernet sauvignon blends into perfection with full-bodied dark chocolate.
- 2009 Monte Maria Moscato d’Asti, Italy (about $12 retail)
- 2009 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon, California (about $45 retail)