It’s that time again; Easter Holidays are upon us. The weather is finally beginning to take a positive turn towards something resembling spring. Wine tours in Kelowna are picking up for the season. Flowers are starting to pop, and everything is lush and green. You’re wondering what the heck to serve the relatives for Easter dinner...no worries, I’ve got you covered!
Whether they’re for celebrating with friends or drowning out your in laws, here are some of my top choices for Easter Dinner.
Easter can be a tough one to pair simply because of the sheer amount of different offerings on the table. Turkey, gravy, ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberries...I’m making myself hungry!
The first rule in wine pairing is that if you like the wine, drink it! Simple. Who am I to tell you what to drink? However, if I may be so bold, I’d like to make a few suggestions to help you along your food and wine pairing journey.
One thing that most of the dishes have in common on the table is their richness! There is no shortage of butter usage around the holidays, that’s for sure. The most important attribute I’m looking for in a wine to pair with these rich dishes is ACIDITY. Crisp wines high in acid are perfect to cleanse your palate between bites.
Sparkling wines: not only are these generally high in acid due to early-picked grapes, but they add another palate cleansing bonus...the bubbles! Bubbly is like a sommelier’s Swiss army knife for wine pairings. Picture the woman from the Frank’s Red Hot commercial saying, “Bubbles, I pair that sh%! with EVERYTHING!” You definitely can pair sparkling with almost any dish that's rich or salty or both. Not to mention that nothing says celebration like sparkling wine!
A great example of an Okanagan sparkling wine that would be fantastic with turkey or ham dinner is from a winery that opens its doors to the public tomorrow: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards. Their 2012 vintage sparkling is a great option for your holiday celebration.
Riesling is another great choice, especially a dry Riesling. Riesling is acidic and fresh. Most Rieslings are also lower in alcohol, which means it will take a few more glasses to build up the courage to tell all of your relatives how you really feel about them. Check out Kitsch Wines Dry Riesling 2016. If you’re using Riesling, pop a splash or two into the gravy for your turkey. (You’re welcome!)
Dry rosé is possibly the very best wine for a traditional turkey dinner! Not only do they have lots of acidity, but rosé is filled with texture and richness on the palate and enough flavour intensity to stand up to even the most overcooked turkey breast! Try the Tantalus Vineyards Rosé 2016.
Gamay Noir: Everyone sings the praises of Pinot Noir with turkey dinner, but I find that it can be a bit subtle for all of the bold flavours. Don't get me wrong, Pinot rocks with mushroom stuffing, but I love the high acid rusticity of the lesser known Gamay with turkey. For a delicious Gamay, look no further than the Orofino Vineyards Celentano Vineyard Gamay from 2015.
My last pairing suggestion isn’t wine at all! A crisp, dry Pilsner-style beer is just the ticket for Thanksgiving dinner. Something lighter in style and body works well so you don’t get too bloated (Read: save room for seconds!). I really enjoyed the Pilsner from Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks when I had it last week.
Have a fantastic holiday weekend!
What are you doing this holiday weekend? Family gathering or hiding away, drinking wine in peace?