Easter is traditionally a time for family celebrations that end with a scrumptious dinner. I will look at traditional menu options but given the current climate where traditional family gatherings may not be possible, I will look at adding some glam to an everyday meal.
Also, given the strains being experienced by the local economy, all of my wine suggestions will be Canadian.
Starting with the traditional Easter menu, the first option is lamb. Lamb has a long tradition of being part of Easter celebrations. It is available in many forms, suitable for any budget, ranging from a leg of lamb, to a loin, to chops, or even burgers.
Lamb in any form is well complimented with a Cabernet such as Lakeview Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.95) or Featherstone Cabernet Franc ($19.95).
Ham is another classic Easter dish that can be prepared in a multitude of ways. It can be baked using cloves and or a number of different glazes, ranging from savory to sweet. Ham is also available in a variety of cuts ranging from the traditional ham on the bone, to small packaged hams to ham steaks.
Pinot Noir is a good option for serving with ham. Flat Rock Gravity Pinot Noir ($34.95) or Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir ($16.95) are a couple of options.
Turkey is a classic choice for Easter. Not only is it suitable for large family gatherings but provides options for smaller dinners. Alternatives to purchasing a full-size bird include, prepackaged turkey thighs or turkey breasts, or you can substitute chicken for turkey.
There are both red, as well as white wine alternatives to have with your turkey or chicken. White wine suggestions include, Flat Rock Chardonnay ($19.95) or Inniskillen Montague Vineyard Chardonnay ($25.95). Red wine options include Kew Vineyards Pinot Noir ($23.95) or Tawse Growers Blend Pinot Noir ($25.95).
Over the years roast beef has been the choice of many for Sunday family dinners and Easter is no exception. Featherstone Cabernet Franc ($19.95) or The Foreign Affair Dream ($29.95), which is a Merlo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend , are two good choices.
Salmon, though less traditional, is a good healthy option for your Easter dinner. It can be baked, poached, or my favourite, tossed on the grill, wrapped in lemons, onions, and capers. It can be a great alternative if you are forced to a smaller than usual family gathering.
Sauvignon Blanc or Rosé pairs well with salmon. Options include Wildass Sauvignon Blanc ($16.95) or Malivoire Vivant Rosé ($19.95).
Vegetarian alternatives to the traditional meat dishes are very popular. These dishes are obviously a good alternative to meat any time, not just on special occasions. Wine pairings for vegetable mains are the same as those for salmon; Sauvignon Blanc or Rosé.
No matter what your mood or what you are serving, wine can make the simplest of meals more elegant. Here are some general options:
- Chicken based soup – Angels Gate Chardonnay VQA ($14.95)
- White fish – Sandbanks Summer White VQA ($14.95)
- Mac and cheese – Peninsula Ridge Pinot Grigio VQA ($15.95)
- Pasta with a white sauce – Mission Hill Five Vineyard Pinot Blanc VQA ($16.95)
- Poultry – Tawse Sketches of Niagara Chardonnay VQA ($19.95)
- Sea food – Cave Spring Riesling Dry VQA ($15.95)
- Beef ribs – Strewn Rogue’s Lot Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc VQA ($14.95)
- Beef based soups – Peninsula Ridge Merlot VQA ($15.95)
- Hamburgers – 13th Street Burger Blend Gamay Pinot Noir VQA ($14.95)
- Pasta in a red sauce – Pelee Island Baco Noir VQA ($21.95)
- Pork ribs – Pelee Island Pinot Noir Reserve VQA ($17.95)
- Tomato based soups – Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir VQA ($16.95)
No matter what your Easter has in store, whether it be a family dinner with all the fixings, or a simple affair for only one or two people, make it more elegant with wine.