BRUNELLO’S NOSE KNOWS….
Easter Dinner Wines
I love holiday dinners, my four footed, and two footed cousins come around the house, there are always wonderful aromas in the air, and people scratching my belly. I don't want doggie bones in my Easter basket though, a fine bottle of wine works for me! A traditional Easter table means lamb or ham, maybe a seafood dish, too. Lamb can be broiled, grilled, or roasted; served with mint jelly, or a red wine reduction- you will need an extra bottle for that! Asparagus is now in season, as are peas and artichoke hearts, and maybe even spring onions will grace your table. The challenge is how to find a wine or wines that will go with all those tastes. Champagne or sparkling wine, of course, pairs with almost everything. The carbonation cuts through heavy sauces and acts like a palate cleanser. Maybe you start out with sparkling wine with hors d oeuvres? try the Mionetto Prosecco from Italy for starters, it is from a small town called Treviso in Veneto. This light, off dry, fruity sparkler will kick off the day.
Leg of Lamb, my mouth is watering, marinated and grilled with garlic and rosemary, served with potatoes, asparagus, and maybe an artichoke tart- lots of different flavors going on. Try a Cotes du Rhone - Grenache /Carignan / Syrah blends provide good fruit that balance with the herbs. The Perrin Cotes du Rhone Rouge would be an excellent choice. A bigger wine, perhaps a Malbec from Argentina, offers dark ripe fruit and just enough tannin to hold up well with the lamb. The Bodega Norton Malbec Reserve is up to the challenge.
If your holiday meal is Honey Baked Ham, scalloped potatoes, glazed carrots and peas- try a lighter red such as Pinot Noir. The Laetitia winery sources fruit from the Arroyo Grande region of California and is a beautiful, light bodied Pinot Noir. Many of the Pinots from this area have a soft clove characteristic that pair well with the ham. For a white wine you could do a Riesling from Germany, fruity but dry, the Thomas Schmitt Kabinet is a good bet. If you want something with big fruit and soft acidity, the Fess Parker Viognier from Santa Barbara would be a nice choice, with notes of honey and a floral nose.
Maybe Salmon is on your table, with rice pilaf, asparagus and traditional Hollandaise sauce; once again bubbles would be great. If you are truly celebrating the holiday, the Schramsberg Rose from California is exceptional. The sparkling wine will hold up to the oiliness of the fish, as well as compliment the lemon in the sauce.
Whatever your wine choices this holiday, may your table be surrounded by friends and family, and your basket be full of wine from Ed’s Fine Wines. Happy Easter!
By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown