We know Easter isn't a season per se, but there are two particular foods that are specifically associated with this time of year. The first of these is lamb. Although quite rich, lamb is actually rather delicately flavoured and, depending upon the recipe, it can easily be paired with a red, a white or a rosé wine.
The thought of a roasted leg of British spring lamb served with Boulangère potatoes is making my mouth water as I type. This simple but classic combination is perfect for a family lunch this Easter and it cries out for something a little bit special in your wine glass. Rioja or Burgundy are both great accompaniments to lamb thanks to their medium bodied, juicy red fruit flavours and bright acidity. By way of a change, but following the same faultless logic, we're really taken with the Parés Baltà Hisenda Miret, a hand-crafted Garnacha (Grenache) made in tiny quantities. As with Tempranillo and Pinot Noir, Garnacha is brightly fruited with fresh acidity and moderate tannins. A subtle lick of oak supplies a little extra richness - just the ticket to pair with this meaty treat.
White wine with red meat? Yes indeed! If you prepare a dish with white wine, then drinking something similar alongside it makes perfect sense. "What does this have to do with lamb?", I hear you cry. Well, one of my favourite lamb dishes hails from Abruzzo in Italy and it involves braising the meat in white wine with Pecorino cheese and fresh peas. Drop me a line at email@example.com and I'll share the recipe! A red wine wouldn't work at all with this, the crisp fruitiness of a white is exactly what is needed. Although from further north, a good Soave is a delicious match. Try our new Cimalta Soave Classico from Corte Adami: its orchard fruits, its vibrant acidity and its almost saline minerality beautifully cut through the savoury richness of both the meat and the cheese.
If your taste is rather more Provençale in nature, try grilled rump of lamb served with a traditional ratatouille. To be fair, you could probably pair any colour of wine with this dish, but for us a rosé offers the best of all worlds as it has a great combination of the freshness of a white wine and some of the structure of a red. Our brand new Fronton rosé from Château Clamens is a blend of 50% Négrette - the native, local red grape variety - with Syrah and Cabernet Franc making up the balance. Made just to the north of Toulouse, this is regional food and wine pairing at its finest!
Back up at the top we mentioned two foods that we would be pairing with wines for you to enjoy this Easter. If lamb was the first of these, there is only one other thing that the second food can be. Easter eggs! If you have the willpower to save your Easter eggs until dessert, here are three wines that really work with with chocolate. Tokaji is probably our favourite wine to pair with chocolate, and the 5 Puttonyos Tokaji Aszú from Château Dereszla is a match made in heaven. The sweetness and cherry fruit of Luigi Righetti's Recioto Della Valpolicella would work nicely with either your Easter egg or a chocolate dessert. Our final suggestion is Gratavinum's Dolç D’En Piqué, a deliciously rich, but not overly sweet, red dessert wine from Priorat that's loaded with dried red berry and fig fruit and creamy oak flavours. Great with dark chocolate!
We do hope you try some of these suggestions because we have heartily enjoyed them all, although we are still stumped to come up with a better pairing with a creme egg than strong cup of black coffee!
Have a very happy Easter from all of us at Gerrard Seel.