Food is most certainly at the centre of any holiday get-together in my household, and runner up to a delectable meal, are the delicious beverages to complement. Wines and spirits are the perfect option when pairing with that Easter spread. So when determining what will go on guests’ plates, take some time to consider the wine pairings that best bring out the flavours of the foods you’ve taken such care to prepare (or simply plate-if you’re anything like me and are not exactly a top chef in the kitchen.)
Fiona Buchan, Director of Marketing at Lakeview Wine Co., shares how the right pairings can bring your dinner party to new heights.
“Wine and food pairings are not just for the elite and the wealthy. Anybody can pair a wine with their food to build new flavour profiles and enhance the dinner. The key is understanding the wines that pair best with the foods you are cooking.”
Read Buchan’s tips on the subject of the perfect pairings, below:
The Aperitif — Welcome your guests properly. Before dinner is served and people are arriving, serve a nice sparkling wine. The bubbles help stimulate the palate to get people ready for the meal to come. If you (or your guests) are not a fan of the bubbly, pour a light white that stands well on its own, such as a Pinot Grigio.
Honey Glazed Ham – The staple of the Easter dinner is the glazed ham, in all of its sweet and salty deliciousness. The ham calls for a lighter, somewhat sweeter, white wine. FRESH Beginnings Moscato has peach and citrus notes on the nose, with pear, honey and fruit salad flavours on the palate — ideal for the sweet glaze and salty meat of the ham.
Turkey – While not a traditional Easter main course, the turkey is growing in popularity as a catch all dish for big family dinners. Key to pairing wine with turkey is to find a wine that is rich and flavourful without overpowering the seasoning of the bird and its stuffing. For red wine drinkers, the soft tannins of a Pinot Noir are ideal. For fans of white wines, go with a Gewurztraminer.
Cheesy Potatoes – Some sort of cheesy potato dish is a must, whether they are simmering scalloped potatoes smothered in cheddar or a creamy mashed potatoes with the cheese whipped inside. The gooey, salty goodness of the potatoes and cheese calls for a sweeter wine, like an off-dry Riesling.
Asparagus — Easter is a sure sign of spring and if the calendar cooperates (this year is not likely one of those years) the early crops of local Ontario asparagus are in market to bring some of that spring freshness to the dinner table. Fresh, crisp asparagus needs a fresh crisp wine. The mineral and grassy nots of a light, refreshing 20 Bees Sauvignon Blanc is ideal for this side dish.
Milk Chocolate — If nothing else, religious symbolism aside, Easter is associated with chocolate. Little chocolate eggs. Bigger chocolate eggs (with rich fillings inside), chocolate rabbits, and chocolate shaped into the characters of whatever movie is hot at the time. Key to pairing chocolate with wine is ensuring your wine is sweeter than the sweet dessert. For the milk chocolate that is most common in Easter confectionaries, pair with a sweet Riesling or a dessert wine.
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