With just a few weeks between now and Easter, perhaps you're wondering, "What wine does go with a candy Peep?" While you're not likely to be enjoying wine and jelly beans or chocolate bunnies, Uncorked knows many of you will be celebrating some form of a spring feast, whether it's the upcoming Easter holiday or Passover Seder. As you embark on this shopping adventure, consider that food-wine pairings at Easter are not an easy match, given the range of flavors, sauces and sides dishes.
As you begin, the overarching guideline is simple: Buy the wine you enjoy. If you love white wine, then start with white wines. If your family tradition is to celebrate Easter with Italian Chianti and lasagna and you've done so for the last 10 years, then enjoy what is meaningful to you.
Easter celebrations often include serving ham. Pairing wines with ham can be tricky, since hams are often have a flavorful glaze, usually involving honey, brown sugar or mustard flavors.
As you shop for this year's feast, consider these Easter-friendly varietals:
Sauvignon Blanc: New Zealand is home to a number of acclaimed sauvignon blanc wines. Check out wines from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, especially Allan Scott, Brancott and Kim Crawford.
Rosé: Rosé wines provide a subtle versatility that bridges the best of whites and reds. France is the longstanding source for quality rosé, but also take a look at newcomer Spain for its affordable offerings such as Ochoa Granache 2002 from the Navara region. For those seeking French wines, check out Domaine Tempier's Bandol Rosé or Domaine LaFond Tavel.
Pinot Noir: Phil Hawkins, wine consultant at the newly opened River's Bend Wine & Spirits in Maineville, recommends pinots from Oregon if you want more nuanced and complex wines. Check out A to Z Vineyards ($14.99), Chehalem Vineyards "3 Vineyard" offering from the famed Willamette Valley ($24.99) and Rex Hill Vineyards 2001 ($24.99).
For Passover celebrations, there are plenty of kosher options, made according to Jewish rabbinical law. Kosher wine is often a sweet table wine, but there are a growing number of alternatives to meet any variety of dishes. Lauren Wiethe of The Wine Store in Montgomery says one of the store's top-selling kosher wines is a shiraz from Australia vineyard, Teal Lake ($12.99), which also produces a chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend. Wiethe also suggested Binyamina "Galilee" merlot from Israel ($20.99), and Italy's Bartenura Pinot Grigio and its Moscato d'Asti, a tasty dessert wine ($12.99).