Easter is almost here (hooray for a four day weekend!) and if you are anything like me, you have already been tucking into the chocolate bunnies and hot cross buns for a few weeks already. Easter traditions call for fish on Good Friday and roast lamb on Easter Sunday with a whole heap of chocolate in between – but not everyone knows where to start with pairing a wine with these meals. Here are a few suggestions of some great wines at various price points to pair with your Easter weekend fare.
If you are serving fish on Good Friday, you don’t have to stick to the general rule of white wine with fish. Mild-flavoured white fish lends itself to a pairing with a zesty, refreshing white wine, like a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or unwooded Chenin Blanc – try the fresh fruity Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc (R55) or perhaps the Steenberg Black Swan Sauvignon Blanc (R241.00). However, if you are going for slightly oilier and richer fish dishes, these can easily be matched with a lighter red wine – so if you are serving salmon, perhaps think of pairing it with a Pinot Noir. I can recommend Copper Pot from Thorne and Daughters (R140) or perhaps Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir (R495).
Chicken and red meat
Easter Sunday lunch traditionally calls for lamb and you may choose to braai or roast it, lamb is strong in flavour and so a full-bodied red wine is needed. You may want to go for a single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon or perhaps a bold red blend. The Le Riche Richesse (R145) is a delicious blend of 6 red varietals that goes beautifully with rich meaty dishes, as does the Platter’s 5-star red blend – Radford Dale Black Rock (R365).
If you are steering clear of red meat and opting for a roast chicken for your Easter lunch, think about pairing it with a Swartland Chenin Blanc like the Secateurs from AA Badenhorst Family Wines (R79) or perhaps a white blend like Fable Mountain Jackal Bird (R130), which is another Swartland wine made up of 5 white grape varietals.
If you are looking for something to quaff whilst munching on your chocolate Easter eggs – you will need to pair your wine depending on the type of chocolate egg on which you are munching. Dark chocolate blends beautifully with Merlot, whilst milk chocolate doesn’t really pair particularly well with wine at all – however, a good port or dessert wine is a real treat with your milky chocolate bunnies. Perhaps try out the Waterford Heatherleigh (R270) or if you want a very special pairing, have a look at the Vin de Constance Klein Constantia (R985).
Enjoy your long weekend and the last few weeks of Summer weather!