5 Easy Easter Pairings
5 Easy Easter Pairings

Let’s make Easter even better with this guide to pairing your fave treats with some delicious vino!

Easter is coming up faster than you can say the bunny and the tortoise (or was that the hare and the turtle? Anyhoo…). Get all your bases covered with this easy-to-read guide covering off some ideal pairing with your ‘moveable feast’ dishes.

Fret not chocolate lovers, we agree, "chocolate" counts as a traditional dish too!

WINE: Fortified wine from Rutherglen

WHY IT WORKS: Squishy buns, hot out of the toaster, all moist raisined fruit and cinnamon spice, slathered with lashings of butter… oh my lordy, I’m reaching for a glass of Rutherglen Muscat or Topaque: those same sultana-like fruit flavours, caramel/toffee aromas and baking spices, plus that unctuous sweetness. No Rutherglen wines? No problem. Pedro Ximinez sherry (dark, sweet and very rich) would also work a treat. Bite, then sip, then bite, then sip. Hot Cross Heaven!

WINE: Fiano

WHY IT WORKS: Fresh Asian flavours on Easter Friday with a Southern Italian white variety? Yeah, why not?! Fiano equals fresh and tangy, with ripe pear and floral notes, and honey and hazelnuts - there’s so much going on in this wine, flavour-wise! But the clincher here is texture. You’ll need something with quite a bit of body to stand up to the subtle white-fleshed texture of the snapper, soft and slippery from steaming and savoury with garlic and soy (FYI you can sub in any white fleshed fish here, but you want some flavour, so nothing too delicate). That ginger will do leaps and bounds with the flavours as well, so you’ll need those floral, juicy elements in the Fiano . Oh yes you will! You know you will.

WINE: Rosé

WHY IT WORKS: Also known as pizza rustica, Italian Easter Pie is laden with all the naughty things: A buttery crust encases cheese and an array of cured meat as well as red peppers and spinach - that’s quite a bit to play with and a lot of flavours to contend with! There are a few wines we could have paired with the Italian Easter Pie; old-world Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc are both great examples. But we like a fuller-flavoured rosé here as an ideal match, something with a bit of colour and depth - so more Italian rosado, or fuller flavoured rosé from anywhere, with the crisp acidity and yet gentle red fruit perfect for a mouthful of torta glory. You could also go a light red with a bit of spice (like a Cinsault or even a lighter styled Barbera) as another option.

WINE: Sangiovese

WHY IT WORKS: Greek Easter lamb has a whole lotta love goin’ on! Succulent, juicy, meaty - it’s salty and savoury from the olives, herbal from the bay leaves and with loads of acidity from the lemons it will need a special wine to compete! Sangiovese has all this in spades: medium-bodied it may be, but it has the texture and tannins to marry up beautifully to the falling-apart meat, high acidity to dance along with the lemons, and loads of sour cherry to match any serious savoury notes. Whether from Chianti or the new world, Sangiovese will certainly spruce up your Greek lamb this Easter!

WINE: Zinfandel

WHY IT WORKS: Nothing screams Easter more than chocolate. Sure, it’s one of the year’s most important religious and cultural festivals, but no matter what you are or what you celebrate, the one thing that we can all agree on is how good chocolate is! Smooth, creamy and rich, it’s fun, addictive and delicious whether in a block, an Easter egg, or as the famous Lindt bunny...

Now, the conventional match with chocolate is to go with sweet fortified wines like the Muscat/Topaque/sherry above. That works wonderfully with milk chocolate, or even a rich and honeyed dessert wine like a Sauternes or a botrytis Semillon. But if you’re going the dark bunny for Easter, a Zinfandel is the glorious surprise packet. The Christmas cake like richness and chocolatey decadence of an evocatively dark-fruited Zinfandel is such a fascinating match, with the bitter chocolate and the bitter tannins in the wine just cancelling each other out like some sort of wizardy.

About the Author

Andrew Graham is a master winemaker and viticulturist (aka a grape guy) who fell into the wine industry as a teenager and never looked back! Voted the 23rd most trusted wine critic on the planet, Andrew judges at wine shows across the globe and runs foolishly long ultramarathons in his spare time (swiftly followed by a recuperative glass of wine or a frosty beer).

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