Easter Wine Recommendations

Posted by on Apr 5, 2012 in Newsletters, Wine Blog | 0 comments

This weekend we will be celebrating the major Spring holidays on the Judeo-Christian calendar. As such, we have a myriad of wines that will coordinate with any possible food or celebration that you may have. We have new Kosher wines on the shelves including wines from Recanati and Yarden (Israel), Ha Sod (Chile) and Rashi (Italy), By the end of this week a handful of new Greek wines including Namea, Muscat and Assyrtiko will be here.

The foods on the Easter table offer a chance to taste a wide variety of different wines. We have offered a few of them here, but are happy to consult with you personally to fulfill any and all of your holiday needs.

Easter Wine Recommendations

Below you will find a list of our favorite wines for ham, lamb or whatever ‘your’ Easter meal is going to be.


White Wines

White wines are a wonderful pairing for ham and can be a great precursor to the Spring and Summer seasons to follow. Depending on how you prepare your ham, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris/Grigio can all be great matches.

2010 Bourgogne Chardonnay
Vignerons de Buxy, Cote Challonaise, France
This winery is the cooperative work of 120 families in the Cote Chalonnaise in Burgundy. Founded in 1931, the coop has endured some very difficult financial times through the perseverance of many hands. This wine showcases the purity of the fruit by aging the wine in stainless steel tanks. A pure taste of Chardonnay, offering apple, mineral and earth flavors. This is straightforward, balanced and moderately long.

2010 Pinot Gris Signature
King Estate, Eugene, Oregon
King Estate, celebrating 21 years of Oregon winemaking this year, is located southwest of Eugene, Oregon and produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and limited amounts of Chardonnay. Founded in 1991 by the King family, King Estate is committed to producing Oregon wines of exceptional quality using organic & sustainable farming methods, meticulous fruit selection, impeccable winemaking practices and judicious blending.

The estate, which is just over 1000 acres, is certified organic. Aside from almost 500 acres of vineyards, flowers and vegetables are also grown organically. The Estate is crowned by the charming, European-style winery, where the winemaking process is also certified organic.

Bright and crisp with pear and apple flavors. Great springtime wine.

2010 Riesling “Blauscheifer” Trocken
Weingut Stein, Mosel, Germany
Weingut Stein is a small family-run estate in the Middle Mosel, which the brothers Peter and Ulli Stein took over from their parents in the 1980s. Although not certified organic they farm their vineyards based on organic principles, avoiding chemical fertilizers and herbicides.

Fresh lime, grapefruit, and tangerine suffused with crushed stone inform this penetrating and refreshing, lithe and athletically lean Riesling that will delight those looking for a bracing, low-alcohol flavorful alternative to 99% of wine styles currently represented in the North American marketplace. There is an admirable sense of transparency here to wet stone that seems to earn very right to this cuvee’s name. I would plan on enjoying it over the next 2-3 years, though I would not be shocked if it remained delicious for much longer.


Rosé Wine

Virtually any dry rosé will compliment Easter Ham. I think the rosés of Southern France work particularly well. Here is one of our favorites.

2011 Comanderie de Bargemone
Coteaux d’Aix de Provence, Provence, France
Founded by Templar knights in the 13th century, Bargemone has a proud viticultural heritage, and is among the foremost estates of the Coteaux d’Aix, a small fine wine district inside the larger Appellation of Provençe. A perennial best-seller, 2/3 of its production is dedicated to the dry rosé for which Provençe is famous. The aroma and flavors belie the extra light color. Aromas of violets, watermelon and strawberries.


Red Wines

Reds for this holiday range from the big spicy, earthy reds like the Grenache/Garnacha of southern France and Spain, Cabernet or Zinfandel that are great to match with the traditional spring lamb to the delicate fruity reds like Pinot Noir that can be served with ham.

2009 Atteca – Garnacha
Bodegas Ateca, Jumilla, Spain
The grapes used for Atteca are the result of a very careful selection process, based on ridiculously low yields: LESS THAN 1 TON PER HECTARE!! They only come from the very oldest plots in the estate, located high on the hillsides, 3,000 ft. above sea-level, around Calatayud. The wine is made from 100% Garnacha from the vineyard’s oldest vines. This is the 4th vintage for the Gil Family, who also bring us two great Monastrell (Mourvèdre) values, Honoro Vera and Juan Gil.

“Bright purple. Intensely floral bouquet offers scents of black raspberry, lavender, Indian spices and white pepper. Juicy dark berry flavors are complicated by notes of candied flowers and pepper and show no rough edges. The floral quality resonates on the spicy, long finish. I’d drink this over the next few years to take advantage of its vivacious fruit.” ~ 90 points – Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

2009 Puydeval
Languedoc, France
When brilliant young winemaker Jeff Carrel came to Languedoc many growers solicited his services. Dominique Menjucq was impressed enough to offer equity in his substantial Domaine in return for first call on Jeff’s time.

One of the things that impressed Jeff about Dominique was a shared conviction that Cabernet Franc could be better in Languedoc than either Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Puydeval rouge is 62% Cabernet Franc, 28% Syrah and 10% Merlot. The wine is aged 8 months in one and two year old barrels. The result is polished, ripe and balanced.

This is one of our favorite red wine values. We have just recently purchased our last drop of the amazing 2009 vintage. If not for the holiday, buy it to put away, but not for long. This will continue to drink well for the next three or four years.

2009 Zinfandel
Grady Family Vineyards, Lodi California
Jim and Beth Grady planted the family’s first vineyard in 1998 on a 50 acre parcel approximately 3 miles west / southwest of downtown Lodi, California. Evening Delta breezes cool the area during their warm summers producing fully ripened wine grapes known for their balanced tannin structures, fruitiness and ample acidity.

The vineyard is managed by Jim Grady III, Jim and Beth’s son, a Fresno State viticulture graduate. The core of the business is the sale of grapes to large wineries. In 2001, they began to bottle a small amount of their wine. After several successful vintages and a Silver medal at the California State Fair, they decided to begin commercial production. Since the spring of 2008, Grady has been distributing wines throughout the United States. What better wine could there be to have at Easter than one that is produced by a Notre Dame University grad and devout Catholic.

Grady Zinfandel has a wide range of big jammy, berry flavors. It is a full bodied and well balanced wine with a pallet of flavors ranging from raspberry to blackberry with hints of spice and pepper on the finish. Soft tannins make for a wine that will age well.


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