How to choose the best wines for your Easter feast

Hand pouring red wine into glass from carafe at Easter

By Jocelyn Doyle

With Easter falling early this year on April 9th, many families will be planning a special dinner to celebrate — making it a great time to match your menu with some quality French wines. In this article, we share our recommendations for the best wines for your Easter dinner.

The best wines for Easter lamb

Generally, robust red wines go well with lamb, but in some cases these may overpower your dish. Decide first how you’re serving your lamb, and pair your wine accordingly.

Choosing the right red wine for lamb

A classic roast lamb — rack, leg or roasted lamb cutlets — will pair well with a wide variety of red wines. Bolder reds will stand up well to lamb, especially when prepared medium-to-well and served with richer accompaniments like a potato gratin or a dark, sticky gravy. Try a Bordeaux blend based on merlot and cabernet sauvignon.

Young, spring lamb has a delicate flavour and is often served pink, needing a lighter wine; in this case, a full-bodied red will over-power your meat. Pinot noir is a fantastic choice for lamb like this, particularly if you’re serving your lamb pink and with more delicate flavours like fresh spring greens. 

Lamb chops served with seasonal root vegetables make a great match for classic “GSM” (grenache, syrah, merlot) blends from the Rhône Valley. 

Can I pair white wine with lamb?

While the usual rule is to pair red meat with red wine, it’s important to remember that you should always be guided by your personal preference. If you’d rather drink white wine than red, go for it! Our recommendation in this case is to steer clear of sharper whites like sauvignon blanc or riesling, opting instead for a richer white like a viognier or oaked chardonnay.

Lamb chop with gravy Easter dinner

The best wines for Easter ham

Rich, salty roast ham with a sweet and sticky glaze will be well balanced by wines with generous acidity and some bold fruit. 

Should I choose red wine or white wine for ham?

The good news is that ham is a versatile option for wine pairing and can work very well with either red or white wine.

Choosing the right red wine for ham

You might not know much about cabernet Franc, but its red fruit and pepper notes will pair nicely with your Easter ham. Light and fruity, Beaujolais is another great match. 

Choosing the right white wine for ham

A dry riesling or chenin blanc makes a good pairing for baked, glazed ham. If you’re on the hunt for a good crowd pleaser, the light, neutral flavours of pinot gris won’t overpower your ham, while its acidity provides a good counterpoint to the ham’s salty taste.

The best wines for Easter salmon

As a general guideline, oily fish like salmon tends to work best with full-bodied white wines. However, depending on the recipe you’re using, salmon can also work well with certain rosés or light-bodied reds with low tannins.

Choosing the right white wine for salmon

If you’re having a smoked salmon starter, we recommend you choose a dry, mineral white wine with some freshness and good acidity. A Loire Valley sauvignon blanc, Pouilly-Fumé or Sancerre will do the trick nicely.

To match a roast salmon main course — especially if there’s any sort of rich, creamy sauce involved — you need a big white that can stand up to those flavours: think oak-aged chardonnay or a good viognier.

Can I pair red wine with salmon?

You sure can! The important thing is to choose a lighter red with low tannins. Beaujolais — made from the gamay grape — is ideal.

Chocolate cake on plate with strawberry on top

The best wines for Easter chocolate

Let’s be honest — it wouldn’t be Easter without chocolate! Here are some suggestions for French wines to match that chocolate dessert.

Choosing the right red wine for chocolate

In general, you’ll want a dark, full-bodied red wine for your chocolate dessert. Cabernet sauvignon, syrah and merlot can all work well; this rich, spicy syrah is our favourite choice.

Can I pair white wine with chocolate?

Matching white wine with chocolate isn’t easy — but Champagne makes a classic pairing and, of course, is a very special way to wrap up the celebrations. Go for an off-dry, complex Champagne to ensure it’s not too acidic.

Order now from La Kav Wines to ensure your wine is delivered before Easter! We always aim to have your order delivered within three days.

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