Spring is here! Easter is upon us. We’re busy putting away our heavy winter jackets, cleaning the house in the name of spring, and looking forward to summer.
With every seasonal change, we make various changes in our lives. Our clothes change, our habits change, and our tastes change. Just as food comes in and out of season – heavy stews in the winter, salads in the summer – wine selections also change.
But what about Spring? Which wines should we choose for Easter brunch and dinner?
As with all advice we share, our number one rule is – if you love it, do it. The return of warmer weather doesn’t mean you have to give up red wine (and if you gave it up for Lent, you would probably quite enjoy a glass at Easter dinner!).
Tips for pairing wine and food
Consider these to be loose rules to guide you when choosing your pairings while keeping in mind that if you choose foods that you like, coupled with wine that you like, you’re going to have an enjoyable experience.
- Choose a wine you like.
- Choose a wine more acidic than the food.
- Consider the tannins.
- Wine should be sweeter than the food you’re serving.
- The wine should have the same flavor intensity as the food.
- More often than not, any wine will create congruent pairings.
Selecting a red wine for Easter
When chosen correctly, red wine can be perfect for spring days. Look for medium to lighter-bodied reds that have higher acidity and lower tannin. Wines such as Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, or Grenache are excellent for enjoying alongside lighter spring fare or the heartier winter foods we aren’t quite ready to leave behind – making them ideal choices for our Easter table.
Brunch is meant to be poured over, often lasting several hours with a feast of sweet and savory favorites. Whether it’s decadent french toast, a savory quiche, or a traditional smoked salmon – the goal of a good brunch is to provide an option for everyone. Just add the right wine, and you’re ready to go.
Try this savory mushroom tart paired with the 2012 Byrd Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This unique wine is a Double Gold Medal winner for a reason! With beautifully integrated aromas of cassis and dark chocolate lifting from the glass, just one smooth and silky sip will have you coming back for more.
A well-curated charcuterie board might be the most perfect appetizer of all time, making it a great brunch option. With so many options, you can be in control of your grazing.
For something different, try pairing this smoky charcuterie with the 2012 Byrd Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Layers of red and black currants reveal flavors of warm spice and sweet vanilla. This bold, full-bodied wine leaves you with a lingering, lengthy finish.
Another option is smoked salmon, arugula, and ricotta tartines with a Pinot Noir. Sure, tartine is just a fancy word for toast – but it’s Easter and the holiday calls for a little bit of fancy (even if you are still in lockdown). Top toasted bread with whipped ricotta spruced up with lemon zest, slices of smoked salmon, and a few fresh arugula leaves. Let the smoky flavors of the bread and salmon be the perfect bridge to a fruity Pinot Noir.
Are you serving lamb? Try this recipe for grilled lamb loin with peas, fava beans, and spring potatoes, courtesy of Brian Kevorkian, executive chef, The Regency Bar & Grill, New York City, and published by Wine Enthusiast.
Pair it with the 2010 Byrd Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. The subtly sweet aromas of berry and cocoa will swirl in the glass before you take a sip. Layered with notes of baking spices, black fruits, and graphite, this large-boned and intensely succulent wine taunts your palate with sinful flavors of blackberry, vanilla, and dark chocolate. It will leave you with a smooth, long finish.
Ham is a popular choice for Easter dinner, and many great wines pair perfectly with this savory meat. Favorites include white wines like Gewürztraminer and Riesling, while red wine-lovers can enjoy a good Zinfandel or a charming red blend.
Try the 2012 Byrd Vineyard Red Wine.Cabernet dominates in this blend, excluding left bank confidence and power. Dark red fruits are the core – currants, cherries, and tart pomegranate. Earthy notes of tobacco and cedar give the wine depth, and the finish is drawn out and vibrant. The wine is simultaneously smooth and bold and lends itself to drinking with friends or over dinner. The 2012 Mendocino also pairs well sharp cheeses, making it an option for brunch as well.
Don’t forget dessert
A smooth wine with hints of red fruits and aromatics such as vanilla and cedar, our 2010 Byrd Merlot makes a delicious complement to any rich and succulent dessert.
To bring out the wine’s flavors of red berries, a fruit tray filled with blackberries, red grapes, black cherries, and raspberries would be a deliciously sweet end to your Easter meal.
Of course, the dessert wouldn’t be dessert without chocolate. Dark, rich chocolate brownies or gooey chocolate cake beautifully complement this subtly sweet deep red wine. See more dessert pairing ideas here.
Wishing you a happy Easter
The most important piece to a perfect wine and food pairing is your personal taste, and holidays are no exception. This Easter, adopt the “if you love it, do it” mantra. Because you really can’t go wrong with good food, good company, and good wine.