Hi all! John the wine guy here.
Happy Chocolate weekend!! Think that’s the technical term for the long Easter weekend right? I hope you all have some lovely plans for the 4 day break? I find it such a lovely time of year. Despite the weather still not being super warm it, at least feels like we are getting there. Spring is springing! The mornings are brighter and people, in general, seem to have more of a bounce in their step. I have given up chocolate for lent so have been counting down the days and hours since pancake day which feels like forever ago. It was about 6 weeks and I am excited about ALL the chocolate on Sunday. And not forgetting the hot Cross buns. I have had the debate many times about whether they are only for Easter or for all year around? I am in the latter camp although just plain, toasted and lashings of butter. None of this flavoured malarkey… Waitrose, I’m talking to you!! Banoffee Hot Cross Buns are not a thing.
Anyway, you didn’t come here to listen to my opinions on Hot Cross Buns, it’s wine time right!? With a 4 day weekend and no doubt some lovely lunches happening up and down the country I thought we could look at the perfect matches for Easter lunch no matter your choice of centre peace.
Let’s start with the classic roast Lamb. This is what I shall be having in the wine guy household. Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder. Yum! There are plenty of options for Lamb especially as there are a multitude of ways to cook and prepare. To go with it, I am going to recommend this cracking Cabernet from Spain. Currently £10 off which is a nice bonus, this beautiful, smooth and silky wine has classic flavours of rich, intense black fruits and will be a real showstopper at your lunch table.
As an alternative option, should you be cooking your lamb with herbs and spices you could look at a Xinomavro from Greece. It is something different if you haven’t tried a wine from that region before and well worth a look!
The Alternative to Lamb is often the Spring Chicken. Again, I would assume roasted and for that you are looking for a simple elegant white wine to pair. This bargain wine from the Loire Valley is crisp, fresh and elegant. A bit on the sweeter side compared to some wines from that region but very easy to drink and sure to be a winner. –
Now I don’t know if you remember, but I may have mentioned chocolate……so a dessert wine over the Easter break is a must! There are going to be lots of sweet treats doing the rounds so make sure you have something to cut though all that sugary goodness. The simple rule when choosing a dessert wine is that it should always be at least as sweet, or sweeter, than the dessert itself. You also have to consider what type of chocolate you’re eating? Dark, milk or white? Most commercial Easter eggs are Milk, but I am a sucker for dark chocolate too so here are a couple of options for you.
If you’re going to the milk chocolate route then you could look at a classic Ruby port. I visited this Port house last year and was surprised at the smoothness of this particular Port. Not as sticky and claggy as you may first assume. Check it out.
For some more alternatives, you could look at a Valpolicella Ripasso. Slightly cheaper than the classic Amarone’s this wine is made from dried (Passito) grapes in North Eastern Italy and is intense, sweet and delicious. For dark chocolate I am going to Vin Santo. I love this stuff! I originally found it on holiday in Greece. Rich, nutty and super smooth. I have enjoyed this many times since and would highly recommend you give it a go.
Plenty of options there and hope you all have a lovely few days! Whatever you’re doing, seeing friends, family or just escaping to enjoy the break, drink some wine and more importantly, enjoy all the chocolate!! See you all soon
Cheers, John x