It might not involve the relentless assault on your waistline like Christmas, or perfect strangers giving your children sweets like Halloween, but Easter has its own unique appeal – the drifting smell of cinnamon infused hot crossed buns, roasting lamb sizzling in the oven, and frantic egg hunts in the park (which coincidentally, are also a great way to let the kids burn off the profound sugar rush caused by overdosing on all those chocolate eggs!).
Above all, Easter is a family celebration, which can, of course, be taken two ways – a chance to gather the whole clan around the table, or if you’ve had visitors camping out with you, the solid gold certainty that you’ll need a glass of wine at some point!
So with that in mind, here are three Easter friendly wines to help you through the holiday.
What goes with Easter Lamb? Syrah or Syrah blends
Packed with antioxidants to help assuage any over-indulgence guilt, Syrah is the ideal combination for that cornerstone of Easter dinner – lamb. After an initial rich and smoky hit of blackberry, rosemary and spicy, peppery notes, Syrah fades gracefully into smooth, balanced tannins that work perfectly with highly seasoned, full flavoured meats without the risk of overpowering them. Although found in every corner of the globe, French Syrah’s are particularly delicate and lamb-worthy, so keep your eyes open for wines that include the words Côtes du Rhône, Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage. If you’re cooking your lamb on the BBQ this year, try a Shiraz, which is made from the same grape but in a bolder style to stand up to the more intense flavours imparted by flame grilling.
What goes with sweet, fruity flavours? Asti Spumante!
Made solely in Piedmont, Italy from Moscato Bianco grapes, this lovely, light, sweet, and best of all, low-alcohol sparkling wine is the perfect match for long summer afternoons in the sun. With intense flavours of ripe pear, peach and honeydew melon and a refreshing acidity, it’s the ideal drink to match all those sweet treats, particularly marshmallow-based sweets or those from the fruitier side of the spectrum like Starbursts. It’s also extremely friendly on the pocket, making it perfect if you’re popping bubbles for the whole family to enjoy.
What goes with chocolate Easter eggs and hot cross buns? Pedro Ximénez Sherry!
Sherry might seem like a strange choice, but this high quality, addictively sweet and deliciously unctuous dessert variety made from sun-dried grapes is the perfect accompaniment for any kind of chocolate, or with an evening coffee. Its spicy nuttiness also works perfectly with Easter staples like hot cross buns, cinnamon cake or Easter biscuits.
These recommendations have been provided by The Tasting Class who offer accessible and entertaining wine and beer education in the UAE. Host a tasting at home with them or join one of their public events around the city.