This will undoubtedly be the strangest Easter you’ve experienced in your life. But proper pandemic protocol doesn’t have to rob you entirely of enjoying the familiar comforts of the early-spring holiday.
Regardless of what’s happening outside, the Easter dinner table is pretty naked without a few good wine selections. Whether you’re killing time by way of cooking and making a festive ham or crown roast or just trying to survive quarantine with something straight out of the freezer and into the microwave — we’ve set aside some wines to bring a bit more joy (and ultimately a friendly buzz) to the picture.
Keep in mind that wineries pretty much everywhere are struggling right now. In the absence of touring and tasting room culture, along with trade events and the like, labels are trying to stay relevant by selling directly to you or through their distribution chain in the states. Think of your wine-soaked Easter dinner as a small but significant part you can play in keeping the world wine map mostly intact.
Now, on to a few to try:
Willamette Valley Chardonnay has never been better and this wine is one of many fine examples. Refreshing, floral, and refined, this Walter Scott riff is a must alongside a decadent ham or just in your hand as you nibble through some appetizers. Essentially Walter Scott’s entry-level Chardonnay, it punches well above its weight and blends fruit from some fantastic regional vineyards, like Freedom Hill and Duke’s Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills.
If you’re really to toast what seems so often like the end times, this is your wine. Impeccably balanced and a satin-like finish that loves to linger, it’s everything a Napa Valley Cab should be. It’s not the cheapest wine on the planet, but its texture and structure justify the price tag. Decant the wine for a couple of hours as you cook for best results. If you haven’t had that quintessential Napa cab experience your uncle won’t stop jawing about, this is it.
Any of the Pinot Noir’s (Burgundy, as it’s called in France) from this small, family-run operation are worth your time. Fortunately, the good folks at Skurnik rep their delicious portfolio. For a New World take, vintner Alexandrine Roy also makes fantastic Pinot Noir for Hood River label Phelps Creek, in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.
This Walla Walla red blend is ultra-pleasing and food-friendly. Made mostly from Cab Franc, the Bordeaux mashup is full-bodied but not overly powerful. It’s great with lamb chops, a nice pork roast, or some sweet and savory roasted vegetables. As a non-vintage red blend, the offering is a testament to just how high the wine community has set the bar in Walla Walla.
New Zealand and Sauvignon Blanc are inextricably connected. Some of the zippiest, best examples of the variety are Kiwi products, like this one from Marlborough. The loads of bright flavors like guava and passion fruit will have you on some tropical beach, mentally at least. And its brightness plays well with a whole host of foods, from fruits and salads to lighter desserts.
The Provence region of France practically invented the proper pink wine. Dry yet robust, the Peyrassol sports that signature light salmon hue that looks so good on the springtime dinner table. A blend of Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache, Ugni Blanc, and Rolle, the wine is like a Sound of Music-esque frolic through the verdant Old World countryside.
Easter tends to involve brunch, which in turns demands some bubbles. This affordable Italian option has just the right amount of fizz, framed by flavors of peach and Meyer lemon. Leave the orange juice in the fridge, it’s plenty tasty on its own. The bottle looks like it’s clad in a tuxedo, dressed-up enough to maybe, just maybe, inspire you to finally get out of those quarantine pajamas.
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