Looking for a local wine to add to your Easter celebration? Here are some suggestions based around your traditional Easter feast.
To pair with…
Glazed ham: Ham, especially glazed with honey or brown sugar, brings a mouthwatering blend of saltiness, sweetness, and fattiness. It calls for a wine that sort of “hits right in the middle,” with some fruitiness, moderate alcohol, low to moderate tannin. Body should be medium as well. With this pairing, it’s all about balance! Try the Cape May Rose from Cape May Winery. This aromatic, medium-bodied rose is 70% Cabernet Franc and 30% Riesling, and smacks of raspberry and herbs, ending with a gentle touch of sweetness.
Roasted asparagus: Spring vegetables are just around the corner. Asparagus is one of the first to press into the April sun, and although it is notoriously difficult to pair food with, there is one category of wines that play nice, very nice! Aromatic whites, such as Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, and Pinot Gris are delicate enough that they don’t clash with the strong, earthy flavors of asparagus, and they give the veggie a little extra lift. Try the Gruner Veltliner from Mount Salem Vineyards. This estate-grown-and-bottled white is barrel aged in French oak. You’ll find it peppery, lush, and round—perfect for roasted asparagus with grated Parmesan cheese.
Deviled eggs: The egg, an essential Easter brunch item, takes one of its richer forms when deviled with mayonnaise, vinegar, white onion, pepper, and paprika. Serve them with a little smoked salmon and a caper for an eye-catching, flavorful twist. The richness calls for a full bodied sparkler to refresh the palate. Grab the Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine from Old York Cellars. Produced with 100% Chardonnay grapes, this wine grabbed silver at the 2014 NJ Wine Competition.
Roasted lamb: Often rubbed in herbs and roasted for Easter, this dish seeks a bright, aromatic, medium bodied red wine to dance with. One of NJ’s most popular red grapes- Cabernet Franc- is a willing partner. Try the 2010 bottling from Amalthea Cellars. One of NJ’s best vintages ever, the 2010 features plenty of bright red fruits such as cherry and raspberry, with a silky finish from 2 years in barrel.
Carrot cake: Finishing your Easter meal with a delicious carrot cake is the surest way to draw the Easter Bunny to your home. With rich cream cheese icing coating the vegetal, earthy, moist cake inside- the pairing should be light and on the sweeter side of the the dessert wine spectrum. Try Valenzano’s Jersey Devil Honey Wine. This mead just won silver at the International Eastern Wine Competition, and is crafted from locally sourced honey.