With the long Easter weekend just around the corner, many of us will be planning a meal to enjoy with our family and friends.
Whether you’re dishing up fish on Good Friday, roast lamb on Easter Sunday – or simply getting stuck into some tasty chocolate treats – you’ll probably be serving wine with your feast.
If you’re unsure which wines to serve with your bank holiday meal, read on to discover our pick of the best wines that pair perfectly with traditional Easter fayre.
Wines to pair with fish
It’s a long-standing tradition that fish is eaten for supper on Good Friday. The custom dates back to biblical times when Christians abstained from eating meat on the anniversary of Christ’s death, choosing to eat fish instead.
Depending on the type of fish dish you’re creating, here are some of our favourite wine pairings to accompany your Friday night supper:
Lemon Sole and Sea Bass – Light, white, and delicate fish should be paired with a crisp, unoaked white wine with a buttery taste – such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay. Our pick: Yellow Tail Chardonnay £6.00
Mackerel and herring – Traditionally, white wine is served with fish and seafood, but intensely flavoured fish can take a bolder red wine such as a chilled Pinot Noir. If you prefer to stick with white wine, choose a Grenache Blanc. Our pick: Sanziana Pinot Noir 2020 £8.75
Tuna and salmon – Meaty fish has a steak-like texture and is the perfect pairing for a flavoursome wine such as a robust white Burgundy or even a dry rose. Our pick: Mirabeau Pure Provence Rose £15.00
Trout and haddock – Flaky, tender fish has a medium texture and is often accompanied by a creamy sauce, so you need a crisp, bold white wine to cut through the richness. Try a Pinot Gris or a dry Riesling to enhance the taste. Our pick: Waitrose Blueprint German Dry Riesling £7.99
Wines to pair with lamb
Easter Sunday wouldn’t be complete without a hearty roast lamb dinner with the whole family at the table.
Often red wines are paired with lamb dishes, but some whites also work well with certain cuts of meat. Depending on the cut of lamb, here are some popular pairings that will bring out the richness of your Easter feast:
Spring lamb and lamb cutlets – Young lamb is best cooked and served pink to capture the delicate flavours and tenderness of the meat. Select a light and fruity red to accompany your meal, as a rich, full-bodied red can overwhelm the lamb. A crisp Pinot Noir with red berry overtones and low tannins is an ideal accompaniment. Our pick: Leyda Reserva Pinot Noir Wine £12.00
Roast lamb – A succulent leg of roast lamb can take a rich, full-bodied red with ease. Choose a wine that is high in tannin levels to make the meat seem more tender – such as a Chilean Merlot that offers bold berry flavours and a smoky aroma. Alternatively, choose a deep cherry-flavoured Cabernet Sauvignon with a smooth vanilla finish – ideal if you are serving your lamb with a herby crust. Our pick: Casillero Del Diablo Merlot £6.50
Lamb shank and slow-roasted shoulder of lamb – Older lamb and mutton cuts are best cooked slowly over low heat to bring out the full flavours and tenderise an otherwise tough type of meat. These cuts of lamb often have a ‘gamey’ taste and can cope with the earthiness of a dark Malbec or a juicy Australian Shiraz. Our pick: Wolf Blass Red Label Shiraz Cabernet £5.49
Pairing lamb with white wine
If you prefer white wines – then it’s perfectly fine to rip up the rule book and go for what you enjoy drinking. It’s best to avoid very dry or crisp white wines such as Pinot Grigio or Riesling and instead plump for a gutsy Chardonnay that can match the robust flavour of the lamb. Our pick: Cave de Lugny Macon-Villages Chardonnay £11.99
Wines to pair with ham
Ham is a sweet and salty meat that is traditionally served glazed at Easter, and the blend of saltiness and sweetness should always be considered when choosing the perfect wine to pair with it.
Ham works equally well with white wines and red, so your guests will be kept happy with a bottle of both on the Easter table. Depending on how you choose to serve your meat, there is a delightful wine to match with it:
Dry-cured ham – With a high salt content, meat such as Serrano ham or prosciutto is best served with a sparkling wine with crisp, fruity notes of apple. Our pick: J Vineyard California Cuvee Wine £23.00
Glazed and roasted ham – Surprisingly, the best wines to pair with sticky, sweet, glazed ham are the ones that have sweetness too. Try an Italian Moscato with overtones of honeysuckle and orange blossom, or if you prefer red wine, try a plummy South African Pinotage with notes of sweet chocolate. Our pick: Tesco Finest South African Pinotage £6.00
Wines to pair with chocolate
Even if you’re not hosting a dinner party over the Easter weekend, the chances are you’ll be indulging in a few Easter eggs or other chocolate treats. Why not treat yourself to a tipple to bring out the rich flavour?
Milk chocolate – Sweet and creamy chocolate should be matched with a dessert wine such as a white or pink Moscato or a semi-sweet Riesling. Our pick: Barefoot Pink Moscato £6.89
Dark chocolate – The bittersweet taste of dark chocolate makes it ideal for pairing with most dry red wines, as the high cocoa content calls for a full-bodied, robust flavour. Enjoy your dark chocolate with a glass of Malbec or Merlot. Our pick: Ernesto Catena Vineyards ‘Ánimal’ Malbec 2020, Mendoza £7.49