Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wines for Easter Lunch...Think Fruity

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A couple of weeks ago, I published a post on two wines from Sherry-Lehman. If you happened to get the rose I mentioned and the weather this Easter is hot in your area, the Chateau Romassan from Domaines Ott would be, hands down, my first choice. That, or any other French rose, would be a heavenly choice for cocktails with your deviled eggs or the entire meal.

 For the main course and beyond, you have several choices. You have to remember that there are a lot of things going on with this meal. The smokiness and saltiness of the ham and the sweetness of some of the other dishes, all make it a challenge to choose a wine. But do not despair. Help is on the way.

Since ham's primary flavor is salt, the key to matching a wine to ham is to put the fruit back in. I recommend softer, fruit-driven and less tannic or less acidic wines. As far as a red wine is concerned, the first wine I would recommend is a Malbec from Argentina which has enough bold fruit to stand up to the ham's bold flavors but also the depth that is needed for a really satisfying wine pairing. Second on the list would be a Beaujolais, such as a Fleurie or Broully, which goes well with everything thanks to its pleasing fruitiness, low tannins, and vibrant acidity. Lastly, for all of you wine aficionados, the ultimate wine pairing would be a nice delicately sweet German Riesling with lots of underlying acidity which will cut through the richness of the ham, while providing a nice counterpoint to the saltiness. Whatever you do, do not get a very dry wine, because this menu, particularly the ham, is murder on any dry wine, white or red.

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