Traditional Easter Food and Wine Pairing
Learn the best wine pairings for classic Easter dishes.
The Easter season is a special time for family and friends to come together and celebrate. For many, the traditional British Easter feast has become an important part of this yearly gathering. But what makes a truly memorable meal? Knowing which food and wine to pair can be an essential part of creating a successful culinary experience.
In this article, we will explore the best traditional British Easter foods and provide some tips on which wines will bring out their full flavour potential.
Roast Lamb: Wines to Try
Cabernet Sauvignon wine is a great choice when it comes to pairing with roast lamb. This full-bodied red wine is known for its bold flavours that complement the rich and savoury taste of roasted lamb.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown in many regions around the world, including Spain, California, France, Australia and Argentina - each region contributing its own unique taste characteristics.
The tannins found in Cabernet Sauvignon wines help to cut through the fatty richness of the roast lamb, cleansing your palate with every sip. The boldness of this wine can also stand up to strong spices often used on roasted lamb such as rosemary and garlic.
Additionally, the fruity notes found in Cabernet Sauvignon wines pair well with sweet accompaniments like cranberry sauce.
Roast Chicken: Matching Wines
Chardonnay wine is a classic and versatile wine that pairs well with roast chicken. The rich and buttery flavours of Chardonnay complement the succulent flavours of roasted chicken, creating a harmonious dining experience.
Opt for an oaked or barrel-aged Chardonnay as these wines have a fuller body and creamier texture that can stand up to the richness of the roasted chicken. Unoaked or stainless steel-aged Chardonnays are also great options as they have bright acidity that cuts through the fatty flavours of roast chicken.
Another factor to consider when pairing Chardonnay with roast chicken is the seasoning used on it.
Cakes, Biscuits: Wine Suggestions
From hot cross buns and simnel cake and biscuits, there are plenty of options for those with a sweet tooth on Easter. But what about pairing these delectable treats with the right wine?
Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns are a classic Easter treat that can be enjoyed any time of day. Whether toasted with butter for breakfast or served alongside tea in the afternoon, these spiced buns have been around since at least the 18th century.
Simnel cake is a traditional cake popular in the United Kingdom during Easter celebrations. It is a fruitcake with two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one on top and one in the middle.
The classic pairing for simnel cake is a dessert wine like Muscat or Tokaji Aszu. The sweetness of the wine complements the richness of the fruitcake and cuts through its dense texture.
Muscat wines are light-bodied whites that have fruity aromas that pair perfectly with simnel cake's dried fruits and spices. Tokaji Aszu wines have an intense sweetness that balances out the bitterness from the nuts used in baking a simnel cake.
One tradition that has long been associated with the Easter holiday is baking delicious Easter biscuits. These sweet treats are made with a combination of flour, sugar, butter, and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. They are often shaped into festive designs such as bunnies or eggs and decorated with icing.
Pairing these delightful Easter biscuits with the right wine can take your holiday celebrations to the next level. A light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio pairs well with these sweet treats because they balance out the richness of the buttery biscuit while complementing the spicy notes.
If you prefer red wine, choose something fruity like a Beaujolais or a Pinot Noir to balance out any sweetness in the biscuit without overpowering it.
Chocolate: Wine Pairings
The key to a successful pairing is finding the right balance between the wine's sweetness and the chocolate's bitterness. A good rule of thumb is to match the intensity of flavours in both elements.
For an elegant and decadent experience, dark chocolate and deep red fortified wines are the ideal complements. Rich, luscious desserts have traditionally been paired with fortified wines like Port, Madeira, and Sherry. These wines also exhibit their richness and depth of flavour when paired with dark chocolate.
Another great option is to pair fortified wines with chocolates incorporating nuts or dried fruits. The nuttiness in the chocolate can complement the nutty flavours in Amontillado Sherry or a rich Madeira.
Milk and White Chocolates
Milk chocolate is known for its rich, creamy flavour profile. When pairing milk chocolate with white wine, it's important to choose a bottle that has enough acidity to balance out the sweetness of the chocolate. A crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio would work well here, as would a light-bodied Chardonnay with notes of citrus.
White chocolate has a milder flavour than its darker counterparts but still packs quite a punch when it comes to sweetness. While the white chocolate is rich and creamy, it goes best with wines that share those qualities, such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.
Moreover, various dessert flavours like vanilla and caramel can be complemented by these adaptable wines. On the other hand, Pinot Grigio pairs well with lighter desserts like mousse or fruit tarts due to its lightness.
In conclusion, pairing the right wine with traditional British Easter dishes can enhance the dining experience and create a memorable meal. For roasted lamb, a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent choice, while a rich and buttery Chardonnay pairs well with roasted chicken.
When it comes to sweet treats like hot cross buns, Simnel cake, and Easter biscuits, medium-bodied red wines, dessert wines, and light-bodied whites like Pinot Grigio are great options.
And for chocolate lovers, deep red fortified wines like Port and Madeira complement dark chocolate, while Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay pair well with milk and white chocolates.
By following these wine-pairing tips, you can take your Easter feast to the next level and create a truly unforgettable culinary experience for you and your loved ones.