Sunday, March 24, 2013

Picking The Right Wine For Easter Dinner!


 Wines That The Easter Bunny Will Love!!! 

 Well it’s Palm Sunday which means it’s time to hippity hop on down to your favorite wine shop and buy wine for Easter dinner. I know a lot of you go out for Easter but hey this will also help you know what to choose from the wine menu.

Now Easter means ham or lamb for most of us.

I realize many of you may have other things such as beef or fish, but for this blog I’m going to concentrate on the two biggies. And since I don’t have lamb, I’m already stretching myself on this.

Now let’s start with ham, which by the way is one of my favorite things to eat. I really do believe God gave man pork for our enjoyment. And hey everything tastes better with bacon! UMMMMM BACON…!!  But I digress. 

Hams are salty due to the way they’re cured. Some are more salty than others. I once had a Virginia ham that made the Great Salt Lake seem like a normal waterway. 

So you need a wine that works well with the salty taste of ham. Add to that the fact that many hams are glazed with sugar or honey to help counter the salty taste. Glazed ham also fits in perfectly with the American past time of anything sweet.

So if you want a white wine with your ham at dinner, I would go with a slightly sweet Riesling or Gewurztraminer.

You’re looking for a wine that is fresh with a sweet fruitiness to balance the salt and a crisp acidity to support both the salt and the sweetness. 

Another alternative might be a slightly sweet and crisp Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris. Remember they’re the same wine!

As for reds, my first choice would be a fruit forward Zinfandel. They really go well with ham. An alternative would be Beaujolais. But if it was up to me, I go with a nice fruit forward Zin!  

You can always go with Champagne/sparkling wine at Easter. 

They really do go well with foods, especially Brut Champagne & sparkling. However I’d go with an Extra Dry, they’re actually not as dry as Brut and are softer with more fruit. I especially like the ones made from red grapes like Pinot Noirs. 

And celebrating Easter is a great time to pull out the Champagne!

If you only want to serve one wine to meet the different tastes of your guests, why not try a Rosé.  They’re light, crisp and flavorful and pair well with ham. A Zin Rosé should work well and I’m not talking about a blush White Zin! That’s for Pinky!!  

Now for Lamb, let’s talk red wine. Lambs have a gamey flavor, some more than others, but still gamey. These are really meant for red wines and this is a great time to bring out that Cabernet Sauvignon you’ve been saving

Cabs have the flavors, tannins and finish to stand up to the lamb. And one taste will remind you that they truly are the king of wines!

If your lamb has a medium gamey taste you might go with a Malbec or Shiraz. In fact this might be a great time to try one of Texas’ really nice Tempranillos. And with lighter less gamey Lamb dishes you can go with a very nice Pinot Noir, which usually means expensive!    

Remember the goal is a red wine with good fruit that has decent tannins and finishes well. You want it to stand up to the lamb but not overpower it!   

Now hop on down that bunny trail and go look for that perfect wine for your Easter dinner!

Cheers!

Harold





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