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What wine to serve for Easter dinner

Written By | Mar 31, 2018

FORT WORTH, Texas: Do you know what kind of wine to serve with Easter dinner? To be sure it depends on what you’re serving. Lamb? Ham? There are several websites that are a great help. Information gleaned here is from them.

To begin with, expert sommelier, André Compeyre of The Regency Bar & Grill in New York City says,

“Roasted or grilled, I like my lamb with a rich Cab….Lamb is strong in flavor and supports tannic, full-bodied red wines. Whether it is a mild spring day or a little bit chilly, Cabernet Sauvignon is a great option.”

Easter, Lamb, Roast Leg of Lamb, Recipe

Roasted Leg of Lamb: Image by Pixabay
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Fiona Beckett of Matching Food and Wine asserts, “It’s true that lamb is one of the most wine-friendly of meats, as at home with red Bordeaux and Rioja as it is with the fruitier wines of the new world. But if you’re looking for a spot-on match it’s worth thinking just how – and for how long – you’re going to cook it. And, though you might not have thought about it before, how old it is.” She goes into more detail here.

Lamb is strong in flavor and supports tannic, full-bodied red vino

Cellarmasters, a website out of Australia states,

“Wine pairing with food is as much about the weight and texture of the food as it is about the colour and flavour. Because lamb is a red meat, the first and seemingly most obvious choice would be to match it with red wine – sticking to that old, tried-and-true rule, red meat with red wine…… but we’re also going to throw the rule book out the window and show you that it’s possible to enjoy lamb with white wines too.” Read the article here.

On the other hand, if ham is on the menu, Greg St. Clair, Italian Buyer, K&L Wine Merchants says

“Since ham’s primary flavor is salt, the key to matching a wine to ham is to put the fruit back in. I recommend softer, fruit-driven and less tanning or less acidic wines. My recomendations are Sicily’s Frappato or Nero d’Avola or the DOC blend of both, called Cerasuolo di Vittoria, work very well. Rosé is certainly a wonderful choice as well.”

Since ham’s primary flavor is salt, the key to matching a wine to ham is to put the fruit back in

In contrast, André Compeyre prefers Pinot Noir,

“This calls for a Pinot. Glazed ham is synonymous with sweet-and-sour flavors, and I love a red wine with low tannins and high acid. I would pour Walt’s 2013 La Brisa Pinot Noir from Sonoma County to match this dish. It has cherry fruit on the nose, a little spice on the palate and will leave liberty for whatever garnish you offer.

However, Bartholomew Broadbent, CEO, Broadbent Selections, San Francisco promotes,

“Whether a boiled ham served with red currant jelly or a traditional Southern Virginia ham, smoked, salted and thoroughly delicious, I’d recommend a traditional style Malbec…”

Easter, Easter Ham, Recipe, Carving Ham, Boneless Ham, Spiral Ham

Upper left clockwise – Mildreds New England Petite Boneless Ham;
Bone-In Whole Smoked Ham from Echo Valley Meats
Corky’s BBQ 4.75-lb Applewood Smoked ;Boneless Carving Ham
Smithfield Spiral Sliced Honey Glazed Hams


And last but not least….chocolate. What kind of wine do you drink while imbibing your beloved Easter candy?

Wine Folly discloses,

“Wine and chocolate have a lot of similarities to each other. For one, they’re both considered aphrodisiacs and they both contain flavanols (antioxidants). [Sic] Despite these striking similarities, it’s somewhat challenging to pair wine and chocolate together. For example, if you taste a delicious glass of dry red wine alongside a hunk of dark chocolate, the wine will start to taste bitter and sour. The taste imbalance is coming from the heightened levels of flavanols (different types of tannin) found in both chocolate and wine that end up clashing against each other on your tongue.”

Moreover, they recommend red wines with milk chocolate. For the dark chocolate variety they recommend dark red wines such as ports, Chianti, and an inky brown colored wine called PX or Pedro Ximinez. Click here for their complete list of pairings.

Wine and chocolate have a lot of similarities to each other. For one, they’re both considered aphrodisiacs and they both contain flavanols (antioxidants)

Similarly, The Spruce has a wine and chocolate pairing cheat sheet too:

White Chocolate: Late harvest or ice wines, Orange Muscat, Moscato d’Asti, slightly sweet rosé, Brachetto d’Acqui, Tokaji, and German Riesling on the sweet end of the spectrum

Milk Chocolate: Port, Madeira, Vin Santo, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Gewurztraminer, some sweeter styles of sparkling wine

Dark Chocolate: Port, PX Sherry, Banyuls, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

Chocolate Cake: Banyuls, Madeira, Port, PX Sherry, Vin Santo, Shiraz

In general, your wine should be at least a touch sweeter than your chocolate….

For their complete discussion on the topic click here .

chocolate, Easter, eggs, candy, wine, dessert

Chocolate Easter egg candies. Several wines pair well with this annual treat. (Photo/Jackie on Flickr)

Wine4.Me explains the process,

“In general, your wine should be at least a touch sweeter than your chocolate…. When matching chocolate and wine, the darker, more bitter chocolate with a higher percentage of cacao typically goes with the more tannic, and bolder wines.”

For example, their wine pairings list includes:

• Milk chocolate with sweet Riesling or dessert wines
• Dark chocolate with Merlot or Petit Syrah
• Dark semisweet chocolate with Merlot or Pinot Noir
• Dark bittersweet chocolate with Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel

As shown above, these wines go with most traditional Easter dinners. Click on each of the various websites for more in-depth information about your wine selections. Salute!



Wine Folly

Wine Enthusiast



Read more of Claire’s work at Communities Digital News and Greater Fort Worth Writers Group. Join her on Twitter and Facebook.

Claire Hickey

Claire Hickey was born the last year of the Baby Boom and spent the first half of childhood in Chicago. She has always loved to write but wanted to create pieces worth reading. Her curiosity and love of research lead her to create her column based on the “garbage in garbage out” theory to provide interesting and thought-provoking pieces that enrich her readers. She also believes life is a banquet and loves to learn new things. Her professional pedigree includes Cosmetology, Surgical Technology, and the Culinary Arts. When not working she loves to spend time with family and friends. She lives in Fort Worth.