There are certain times of the year when your questions have a recurring theme, and the weeks leading up to Easter is such a time. “What wine should I serve with our Easter gathering?”
It’s a great question not only because you are asking but because I am also planning my family get-together. I’m usually in charge of recommending the wines but this year have the added honor of hosting our family brunch. This would have a simple answer with a menu as straightforward as fish or red meat. But most likely your menu — as does mine — entails an array of traditional family dishes such as deviled eggs, green bean bundles and the customary ham.
Hands down, my favorite choices are riesling, gewurztraminer or dry rose.
I know, I know… unless you have been in one of my wine and food pairing classes you may not believe me on these “very rarely go wrong” recommendations. But trust me. There is no other way of explaining these pairings of perfection than by experiencing them. The key is finding wines that can serve one simple task, not competing with the food. With such an array of food flavors your wine choice should be a stand-by participant. These wines will always deliver.
If you have a family member who refuses to veer from his or her beloved red wines you can always depend on a light-bodied pinot noir.
- 2018 Bell Rose, California (about $15 retail)
- 2017 Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling, Washington (about $10 retail)
- 2018 Domaine Bousquet Rose, Argentina (about $11 retail)
- 2017 Hogue Cellars Riesling, Washington (about $11 retail)
- 2017 J. Lohr Monterey Riesling, California (about $11 retail)
- 2016 Louis Guntrum Dry Riesling, Germany (about $14 retail)
- 2014 Anne Amie Dry Riesling, Washington (about $19 retail)
- 2017 Presqu’ile Winery Rose, California (about $22 Retail)
- 2018 Monchhof Slate Riesling, Germany (about $25 retail)
- 2018 Rudi Weist Monchhof Estate Riesling, Germany (about $19 retail)
Easter is the perfect occasion for a casual gathering with family and friends. I asked readers and friends how they would be celebrating this year and compiled my recommendations based on their answers.
I can think of no better occasion than an Easter brunch for serving dry rose wines. The meal is often an assortment of breakfast and lunch foods, but even some dinner dishes sneak into the mix. This array of choices — from sweet to savory — is a lot to ask from a single wine but dry rose wines are extremely versatile and a perfect pairing to help bridge the spectrum of flavors.
It’s best to stick with wines low in alcohol for a morning brunch. I suggest reading labels carefully because despite their delicate color, some roses can be robust with alcohol levels well into the 14 to 14.5 percent range.
- 2016 Domaine Bousquet, Argentina (about $11 retail)
- 2016 Presqu’ile Winery Rose, California (about $20 retail)
THE EGG HUNT
This menu selection is generally uncomplicated, and the focus is mainly on a few desserts and a versatile wine pairing. A sparkling wine or delicate Moscato d’Asti are ideal choices for an afternoon get-together. In addition to the celebratory touch of bubbly, these wines are also generally low in alcohol. For those looking for wine pairings for chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks keep in mind lighter chocolates pair best with light-bodied wines while full-bodied wines are best with robust darker chocolates.
- NV Umberto Fiore Moscato d’ Asti, Italy (about $12 retail)
- NV Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine, California (about $19 retail)
THE INTIMATE DINNER
If your celebration with family and friends features a seated dinner you can showcase several wines for your guests. If you are starting with a light salad, a light-bodied pinot grigio is a good choice as it is low alcohol and doesn’t compete with most dressings. Light reds without overpowering tannins or whites without searing acidity are natural pairings with hams covered in sweet, spice and salt.
- 2016 BV Coastal Pinot Grigio, California (about $10 retail)
- 2015 Santa Barbara Winery Pinot Noir, California (about $22 retail)