Every now and then a food pairing comes along that is just so perfect that it stays in my mind until long after the last mouthful is eaten. The best pairings bring out all the flavours and complexities of both the wine and the food. They enhance each other and every sip and bite is heavenly. But finding the brilliant wine pairings isn’t always easy and sometimes its really quite tricky – for instance when pairing indian dishes with their many spices and herbs, just one element can throw an expected pairing right off. So when preparing a special meal and you don’t have the time to check each pairing ahead of the occasion its worth getting some tips to help you. Here’s our top food and wine pairing tips for the upcoming Easter weekend.
Roast Lamb Wine Pairing
The traditional Easter meal will likely include lamb of some sort, a fantastic roast leg of lamb pairing is a fuller bodied red and a classic lamb wine pairing is a Bordeaux, ideally something from the left-bank – Cabernet Sauvignon dominant. Cabernet Sauvignon is a brilliant wine match for lamb and it certainly doesn’t need to come from generally pricey Bordeaux. Try something from Australia, South Africa, Argentina or Tuscany. Spain also produces some excellent wines ideal to pair with lamb, especially if you are slow roasting it; Rioja and Ribera del Duero wines are highly recommended.
You don’t need to stick with red wine though, Provence rose is a wonderful pairing with pink lamb cutlets.
Chocolate Wine Pairing
The other food you are guaranteed to be eating is chocolate so whether its a chocolate dessert or simply chocolate eggs after the kids are in bed, here’s some more Easter wine pairing tips all based around chocolate.
An excellent wine match for dark chocolate is a vintage or LBV Port. It’s ripe fruit supports the bitter chocolate well.
Milk chocolate is sweeter than dark chocolate and a trickier match. Try a Banyuls (a dessert wine from Southern France) or a Tawny Port whose nutty character works well with nutty or caramel tones. The better quality the chocolate, the better!
White chocolate is actually quite versatile so you can try a few drinks here, remember they’ve got to be sweeter than the chocolate. Think Muscat, Orange Muscat, Ice Wine, Tokaji or Moscato d’Asti. These will be wonderful, you’ll find any will be a match made in heaven. My choice is Moscato d’Asti, seriously its like nectar. Moscato d’Asti is relatively inexpensive and also low alcohol so if you are looking for a cheap and cheerful way to get tickled and not pickled as well as enjoy a top wine match this is the way to go!
A good rule to remember is to match with a wine which is sweeter than the chocolate.
Whatever you are eating, I hope you find these Easter wine pairing tips useful. If you’d like to learn more about food and wine pairing or learning more about wines whilst you drink them, why not consider joining our virtual wine club subscription box where we drink and learn about a different wine each week and discover great pairings for them?