Best Wines for Easter

Easter is a time to gather with family and friends to celebrate the season and indulge in delicious food. And what better way to elevate your Easter dining experience than by pairing your dishes with the perfect wine?

This blog post will explore the best wines to pair with the most common restaurant Easter dishes.

Roast Lamb and Cabernet Sauvignon

Roast lamb is a classic Easter dish and deserves a wine pairing that can stand up to its rich flavor. Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect choice for this dish as it has a full-bodied flavor that complements the lamb. The tannins in the wine help cut through the lamb’s richness and bring out its savory notes. Aged Cabernet Sauvignon, in particular, pairs well with the smokiness of the lamb and helps to bring out the flavors of the herbs used in the dish.

Try one of these exceptional Cabs with your roast lamb:

Substance ‘Cs’ Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

From the winery itself, “Classic Cabernet Sauvignon. Currant, blackberry, cigar box with touches of chocolate, cedar, and pencil lead. Full flavored & just so damn good. I should raise the price!”

Château Lynch-BagesPauillac (Grand Cru Classé) 2016

It exhibits a deep red color with notes of dark fruit, cassis, blackcurrants, and a distinctive hint of mint. The palate is full in body with ripe tannins and cassis throughout. The finish is long.

Flat Top Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. It is distinctly dark fruit on the palate with cocoa and vanilla notes. It has gentle spices like nutmeg and cassis. The finish is smooth, long, and velvety.

Honey Glazed Ham and Riesling

Honey-glazed ham is a popular Easter dish that requires a wine pairing that can balance its sweetness. Riesling is an excellent choice for this dish as it has a crisp acidity that complements the sweetness of the ham. The wine’s citrus notes also help cut through the dish’s richness, making it a perfect pairing. For those who prefer a sweeter wine, a late-harvest Riesling can be an excellent choice as it enhances the sweetness of the ham without overpowering it.

I recommend any of the following great examples:

Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Riesling Kabinett 2017

This Kabinett is a fresh, crisp wine with lingering sweetness balanced by tart lemon-lime acidity. Delicate wisps of smoke and earth lend touches of complexity throughout, adding dimensions to its fruity character.

Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese

Spätlese Riesling is richer and more intense in flavor than Kabinett. It has a lively minerality that perfectly balances the bright white peach and lemon fruit you’ll find here. Worth seeking out.

Ransom Sunnyside Vineyard Riesling (Willamette Valley of Oregon)

From the vineyard themselves, “This single vineyard, old vine bottling from the South Salem Hills is a classic, terroir-revealing Riesling. Opening with fresh fruit aromas of key lime and pineapple, the palate offers vivid acidity and flavors of Meyer lemon zest and candied ginger wrapped around a mineral vein. The wine finishes fresh and bright, with a beguiling note of honeysuckle blossom. A delight to drink now, but also exceedingly age-worthy.” 

Turkey and Pinot Noir

Turkey is a classic Easter dish that requires a wine pairing that can match its delicate flavor. Pinot Noir is a great choice for this dish as it has a light-bodied flavor that complements the turkey. The wine’s fruitiness also pairs well with the herbs used in the dish, enhancing the flavors of the turkey. The wine’s light tannins also help to balance the dish’s richness, making it a perfect pairing.

Try one of the following pinots:

2016 Domaine Lecheneaut Les Pruliers

This is towards the more expensive end of the price range, but undoubtedly this is an exceptional wine. Les Pruliers has a strong color. The wine offers fresh red fruit, wild prunes, and licorice aromas. As it ages, it adds depth and roundness. It has aromas of cocoa and smoked meat.

2019 Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Rouge

More affordable is the Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Rouge. This is an organic pinot noir that’s delicate, easy to drink, and naturally delicious. It has a fresh, crunchy, summer pudding fruit flavor with crisp acidity and just lip-smacking moreishness. And because it’s low in sulfur, it’s great for summer or winter drinking.

2018 Corazza Pinot Nero

At the lower end of the price range is the Pinot Nero. This is a unique wine from Friuli, a region in northeastern Italy. It’s made from the pinot noir grape and is unlike other pinot noirs you might be used to. It’s light, bright, and easy to drink.

Roasted Vegetables and Chardonnay

Roasted vegetables are a staple of any Easter meal and require a wine pairing that can match their bold flavors. Chardonnay is an excellent choice for this dish as it has a buttery flavor that complements the vegetables’ richness. The wine’s oakiness also pairs well with the smokiness of the roasted vegetables, enhancing their flavors. Aged Chardonnay is a great option for this dish as it has a more complex flavor profile that pairs well with the variety of roasted vegetables on the plate.

Look out for the following great examples of Chardonnay:

Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay

This vineyard is located in California, and it’s a great place to start your search for a good Chardonnay with crab legs. This wine is made from grapes grown in the Sonoma Valley, where the climate is ideal for growing them. Fermented and aged in French and American oak barrels for richness, toastiness, and complexity.

J. Lohr Chardonnay

This California winery has been making award-winning wines for over 30 years, and this Chardonnay is no exception. They use grapes from their own vineyards in Monterey County, which means that you can be sure the quality is always high. This wine has a rich golden color with notes of citrus and vanilla on the nose.

Ladera Vineyards Chardonnay

This Chardonnay is made from grapes grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands, which is a cool climate area. It’s aged in French oak barrels for about 15 months before bottling and has notes of vanilla and toasted hazelnuts on the nose.

Hagafen Cellars “Reserve” Napa Valley Chardonnay

Made from grapes grown in Napa Valley. It has a rich golden color with notes of citrus, vanilla, and toasted hazelnuts on the nose. It’s aged for about 18 months in French oak barrels before being bottled.

Deviled Eggs and Champagne

Deviled eggs are a classic Easter appetizer that requires a wine pairing that can match their delicate flavor. Champagne is a perfect choice for this dish as it has a light and effervescent flavor that complements the eggs. The wine’s bubbles also help to cleanse the palate between bites, enhancing the dish’s flavors. For those who prefer sparkling wine with a bit more complexity, Prosecco can also be a great choice.

Here are my recommendations for Champagnes:

Krug Clos du Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut

The absolute pinnacle of Champagne, but you will need deep pockets.

Vineyard notes: “Krug’s Clos du Mesnil plot, with its south-eastern orientation, was initially intended to ensure a regular supply of Chardonnay wines to enrich the blend of Krug Grande Cuvée, but the savoir-faire of the House of Krug revealed more. Year after year, as the wines from the grapes of this tiny plot were followed and tasted, their character was consistently and uniquely beautiful. Perhaps due to the microclimate the walls created, to the protection of being right in the village, or to the men who built those walls back in 1698 knowing something we do not, the fact remained: The wines of Krug’s Clos du Mesnil stood out, time and again.”

2012 Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut

More attainable, this Bolly is also exceptional.

Award tasting note: “This goes from zero to 60 right out of the gate, with an intense spine of acidity driving tightly meshed flavors of crushed black currant, ground coffee, candied grapefruit peel, and toasted almond. The profile expands on the palate, carried by the fine, raw silk–like mousse. Richly aromatic and expressive from start to lasting spiced finish. Disgorged July 2019. Drink now through 2037. 850 cases imported. —AN” – Wine Spectator Top 100 #10Wine Spectator Top 100

Ruinart Brut Rose

This is my personal favorite. Delicate, fruity, and delightfully light on the palate.  An excellent yet affordable luxury.

Award tasting note: “Youthful, quite fruity style with easy appeal and drinkability.” – BronzeInternational Wine Challenge

Hot Cross Buns and Muscat

Hot Cross Buns are a sweet Easter treat that requires a wine pairing that can match their spiciness and sweetness. Muscat is an excellent choice for this dish as it has a sweet and fruity flavor that complements the buns. The wine’s floral notes also pair well with the spiciness of the buns, enhancing their flavors. For those who prefer a lighter wine, a Moscato can also be a great choice.

Give one of these excellent Muscats a try:

Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria (Sicily, Italy)

Critic tasting note: (2020 vintage) “Powerful bright amber, slightly reddish nuances. Intense and inviting nose with orange zest and bergamot notes, lots of dried apricot, and some fig. On the palate, great play between sweetness and fresh acidity, notes of apricot, orange blossom and figs, long and clear finish.” – 94/100Falstaff

Jorge Ordonez & Co. No. 2 Victoria Moscatel (Malaga, Spain)

Critic tasting note: (2016 vintage) “A mixed tropical-fruit aroma is pure and clean on the nose. On the palate, this Moscatel is smooth and creamy, but with fine acidity to balance. Mango, honey and pineapple flavors slide away with grace on a lush yet nicely balanced finish. Drink through 2025. Michael Schachner” – 93/100Wine Enthusiast

A.R. Valdespino Toneles Moscatel Sherry (Andalucia, Spain)

This is a top-end wine by all reviews, but you will pay a hefty price for it.  More than $500 a bottle!

According to wine experts and critics, the A.R. Valdespino Toneles Moscatel Sherry is an outstanding dessert wine with a deep amber color and intense raisins, figs, and caramel aroma. The palate is sweet and velvety, with notes of dried fruits, honey, and spices. The wine has a long, lingering finish that leaves a pleasant aftertaste.

Lemon Tart and Sauvignon Blanc

Lemon tart is a refreshing Easter dessert that requires a wine pairing that can match its citrusy flavors. Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice for this dish as it has a light and crisp flavor that complements the tart’s sweetness. The wine’s acidity also pairs well with the tart’s citrusy flavors, enhancing its taste. A late-harvest Sauvignon Blanc can also be a great choice for those who prefer a sweeter wine.

Check out one of these excellent Sauvignon Blancs with your lemon tart:

Bread & Butter North Coast Sauvignon Blanc

This Sauvignon Blanc has bright aromas of lemon zest, hints of tropical fruit, lively flavors with citrus notes, and a rich texture and a clean finish.

2021 Decoy California Sauvignon Blanc

Aromas of pineapple, lemon, and green apple lead the way for this crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Underneath those fresh scents is a layer of lime zest that adds another exciting dimension to your taste, which lingers in your mouth long after each sip.

Lieu Dit Sauvignon Blanc 2017

This Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of ripe kiwi, lemon, and lime accented by hints of green apples. The palate is full and creamy with a rich mouthfeel that is balanced by crisp acidity.

Conclusion

Pairing wine with Easter dishes can elevate your dining experience and enhance the flavors of the food. Whether you’re serving roast lamb, honey-glazed ham, turkey, or roasted vegetables, there’s a wine out there that can complement the dish’s flavors. By following our guide and matching the wine’s flavor profile with the dish’s flavors, you can create the perfect pairing that will impress your guests and make your Easter meal unforgettable.