Easter is one of the many annual occasions when our family gets together around the table to share and celebrate. It’s one of my favorites because it is a day of reflection joined with the welcomed excitement of spring, not to mention the well-thought out menu followed by something chocolate. But if your menu is like our family’s, it is not straightforward with just a ham as the main course. In our family, we enjoy a buffet ranging from deviled eggs to banana pudding, and that’s a lot to ask from a single wine.
Rather than focusing on the main entree for these feasts, it’s best finding wines known to play well with all types of foods. The key is food friendly wines capable of standing up to a range of flavors and textures.
For red wine lovers, bigger is not better when it comes to friendly food pairing at the Easter table. Save the high alcohol, tannic wines for the barbecue next week. Wines with high tannin will overpower most foods, so a more fruit forward, lighter bodied wine is a better choice. Think barbera, merlot, pinot noir, gamay and fruity ripe blends.
- 2014 Louis Jadot Beaujolais Village, France (about $14 retail)
- 2012 Chateau Blaignan Bordeaux, France (about $21 retail)
If you are joining me on Easter you are guaranteed to find dry rose wines gracing my table. Whether it be brunch, lunch or dinner, I can’t emphasize enough how well they match with almost every food imaginable. The key to the perfect rose for food pairing is ensuring it’s a dry style and not sweet.
- 2015 La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Ventoux Rose, France (about $14 retail)
- 2014 Hogwash Rose, California (about $18 retail)
Sparkling is another reliable wine able to complement practically any food, from appetizers and entrees to desserts. I use sparkling wines to mix for mimosas at a brunch and as the single wine for buffet service. It’s also wonderful for Easter menus because it always brings a celebratory feel to the occasion, so even if you just begin the meal with a glass for a family toast it’s a special touch.
- NV Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, Spain (about $13 retail)
- NV Gloria Ferrer Brut Sparkling Wine, California (about $32 retail)