As with many holidays, Easter is a celebration that has become associated with a range of delicious dishes and delights. From a Good Friday fish dish to roast lamb on Easter Sunday, and not forgetting all of that egg-shaped chocolate! For wine lovers, this presents something of a challenge when it comes to pairing their favourite sip with each of these varied bites. We take a look at how you can make your Easter dining complete with this wine pairing guide.
It is traditional to avoid meat on Good Friday, with many opting to instead indulge in a delicious fish dish. Which fish you choose is completely up to your personal preference, but your decision will influence the type of wine you will need to accompany it. For example, if you are cooking up a white fish, such as cod or sea bass, then a white wine from a cooler region, like Chablis, will be a great pairing. Stronger fish, like smoked salmon, will need an equal aromatic wine packed with flavour to keep up with the more intense tastes. A good Chilean Sauvignon Blanc should be a great match. If you are eating an oily or smoked fish, like mackerel, then a wine with a higher level of acidity will be able to compete with the fish flavours and keep your palette refreshed!
Regardless of whether you are enjoying a lamb roast, other meat or a vegetarian option, roast dinners typically contain a fair amount of salt. Meals containing salt can soften the tannins in wine, reduce the acidity levels and make the wine taste a lot richer. While a full-bodied, bold red can be a little too much for some drinkers, the softening effect awarded by salty dishes can make these big drinks enjoyable for all wine lovers! A rich Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux or Australia will work wonders with any type of roast dinner. Tie the wine and dinner together further by adding a splash of the chosen wine to your gravy or sauce – find out how to cook with wine in our previous blog!
Wine and chocolate are two items notoriously difficult to perfectly pair, but with the extensive selection of Easter chocolates that are likely to be enjoyed over the holiday, wine lovers may want to give it a go! The sugar from milk chocolate can be overwhelming for the flavours of many wines, so the easiest way of pairing chocolate and wine is to opt for a sweet fortified wine such as Port or Sherry. Chocolate with a higher cocoa content can be paired with full-bodied red wines instead, whereas white chocolate can work well with a delicious Chardonnay!
As well as an abundance of chocolate eggs, there are a variety of other sweet treats and desserts enjoyed at Easter, including Simnel cake, hot cross buns and nest cakes. Too much sweetness can bring out bitter notes in a wine, and mask or overwhelm some of the fruitier notes. Try pairing your sweet treats with a wine that features a hint of sweetness of its own, such as a sparkling demi-sec or a sweet white wine such as Muscat or Gewürztraminer.
Whatever you are planning on enjoying this Easter, ensure your wine rack is well stocked with a range of incredible wines to choose from to make your pairing even easier!