Monday, March 23, 2009

Easter Yumminess!

Spring is here, and Easter is just around the corner! Easter, like Thanksgiving has its traditions. So what pairs best with Easter Dinner? That depends on what your Easter dinner is comprised of. Typically, you either see ham or lamb and if you’re at my house it's both! In this blog I will cover some basic pairings for your dinner starting with the ham...

Wine Pairing for Ham
In general, ham is typically glazed with a light, sweet sauce often using honey or apricot, which brings balance to the inherent saltiness of the meat. One of the most traditional pairings is Riesling with its aromatic notes of peach and apricot. Some of you are in for a surprise when I tell you what you want is a fine, dry Riesling. Yes, there is such thing as a dry Riesling and with this pairing it is very important! When pairing ham it’s important to balance both the sweet and salty elements of the dish. Riesling offers enough sweet fruit to balance the salt, yet enough acidity to support the flavor combination without throwing either out of balance. One of my favorite regions to find such lovely, unusual wines is Alsace. Sitting just over the border from Germany; Alsace, produces many of the same varietals, but unlike its neighbor, 95% of the wines from Alsace are dry. Not many people are familiar with Alsace, but this price-point friendly region is well worth your investigation!

Wine Pairing for Lamb
I adore lamb just about any way you serve it! Leg of lamb, stuffed lamb, roast lamb, braised lamb they all delight my palate! Lamb can be paired according to the style you choose to prepare it, or you can go with a fantastic little wine that is almost guaranteed to fit any and all. The sexy little Pinot Noir is once more making an appearance to add the perfect finishing touches to your Easter feast. The pinot you are looking for has a touch of bright fruit with a little bit of zippy acidity. This pairing will make your palate sing! The acidity brings harmony with the fat, while the fruit bridles the gaminess. The region I would choose for this pairing: Willamette, hands down! When Willamette Valley takes the stage, this Oregon region shines! These pinots offer a delectable balance of fruity acidity making it the perfect wine for sipping or pairing.

I hope as you sit down to your fantastic feast, whatever it may be, you take a moment to appreciate all the newness of the world! And remember: always be willing to try new things, but drink what you love!

Happy Easter!
Jacqueline Thain