Mark Aselstine
April 6, 2012 | Mark Aselstine

Easter Wine

Ok, so it’s always a topic of conversation, what type of wine should I serve with my holiday dinner. Let’s start by stating the obvious-serve what you and your guests like. Pairings are important, but wine is meant to be enjoyed. As an example, yes white wine’s probably pair better with the average ham that most of us serve, but if you don’t enjoy white wine, what’s the point? Drink what you like.

Ham: I think it is the most common Easter dinner. It isn’t necessarily the ham that we’re trying to pair here as much as the sugary glaze which most of us end up with. Think of the last hone baked ham you had for an example. The challenge with pairing wines with ham is that the meat is usually pretty salty, while the glazes are often sugar based.

Two easy choices are Riesling and Gewurztaminer. Both wines when made well offer enough fruit to balance the salty meat, while having high acidity levels which seem to literally cut through the sweet glazes.

Personally, I enjoy Pinot Noir with ham. I find that more people who I eat with around the holidays, drink red wine, so I try and avoid serving a white whenever possible. We’re shipping a couple of good choices in that regard this month in our Special Selections club. The Roar Pinot Noir is an especially good choice as it has enough fruit and texture to stand up to the ham.

Lamb: I’ve heard more and more customers telling me that they were serving a rack of lamb for Easter this year. In this case, finding a bigger styled red wine that you might otherwise pair with a New York steak would work. Think a Cabernet Sauvignon in most houses, although Syrah might work better while being a more traditional choice.

I hope you have a nice holiday.  If I could offer only one pieec of advice, don't take the whole pairing wine to food thing as seriously as most tend to make it.  Drink what you and your guests are going to like and enjoy each others company.


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