Smart and Affordable Wine Options for Easter

Easter is right around the corner. If you need to bring wine to a party or are hosting and still need to make a wine store run, here are affordable wines that pair well with traditional Easter dishes.

Aperitif Wines

For me, nothing kicks off a celebratory dinner like the right bubbly. Champagne and sparkling wine are not only festive but also very food-friendly. Light and dry wines are ideal with hors d’oeuvres and there are many affordable options.

  • Gruet New Mexico Brut NV ($12.99). Crisp full-bodied sparkling wine with pleasant apple flavors laced by citrusy notes. Ultra fine moussy bubbles.
  • Lucien Albrecht Brut Rose NV ($15.99). A rich, pretty wine with ripe strawberry fruity flavors and a dry finish.
  • Scharffenberger Cellars Brut Excellence Mendocino County NV ($16.99). Wine with tart green apple and lime aromas that carry over to the palate. A lovely, vibrant sparkler.

Wines for Ham

Ham, with its salty-yet-sweet flavors, pairs well with wines that have a hint of sweetness, big fruit flavors and great acidity. While the classic pairing is Riesling or Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Lambrusco and even Grenache would be good compliment to ham. Affordable choices:

  • 2014 Perrin & Fils Reserve Red Côtes du Rhône ($9.99). Earthy, dark berry aromas and dark fruit flavors with tobacco, peppery notes.
  • 2015 Charles Smith Wines Kung Fu Girl Riesling ($10.99). Juicy pear and peach aromas and flavors and a tangy zip of acidity that end with lime zest finish.
  • 2014 Ravines Riesling Dry ($13.99). Floral, citrus and apple aromas on this gorgeous Finger Lakes Riesling that carry over to the palate. Well-structured, refined with great minerality.
  • 2014 Opera – Lambrusco Secco ($15.99). Fruity with black cherry flavors, well-balanced with good acidity and fine bubbles.
  • 2013 F. E. Trimbach Gewurztraminer ($16.99). Big rose and orange aromas with lychee and ripe peach flavors with peppery notes. Sweet but with a nice dry finish.

Wines for Lamb

Depending on the cut and preparation of the lamb, many types of wine pair well with this meat.

For rack of lamb served with spring vegetables, a red Burgundy or heavier rosé would work well. Here are good options:

  • 2015 Marques de Caceres Rioja Rosado ($12.99). Bright strawberry-peach color in the glass. Big floral and red berries aromas. On the palate, this Rioja rosé offers flavors of red berries and cherries with licorice notes.
  • 2014 Joseph Drouhin Laforet Pinot Noir ($14.99). Great aromas of raspberry and ripe strawberry and fruity, woodsy flavors. Elegant with velvety mouthfeel.
  • 2013 Clos des Fous Subsollum Pinot Noir ($18.99). Juicy strawberry and earthy aromas on medium-bodied wine. Ripe cheery and raspberry flavors.

For leg of lamb, lamb shank or roast of lamb served with gravy/sauce and garlic/rosemary pungent flavors, a Cabernet, Merlot (or a blend of both), a Chianti Classico, a Rioja Reserva or a northern Rhône red would be good options. Here are affordable picks:

  • 2010 Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Reserva ($12.99). Lovely dried cherry and stone fruit flavors with notes of licorice and spice.
  • 2014 Chateau d’Hanteillan Haut Medoc ($15.99). Dark berries and smoky aromas on this medium-bodied wine that carry over to the palate. Nice structure and acidity.
  • 2014 Duckhorn Vineyards Decoy Red Blend ($16.99). Ripe blackberry and black cherry aromas and flavors with notes of leather and mocha. Silky, round, fruity finish.

All these wines are available in New Jersey and some of our favorite retailers are:

Amanti Vino – Montclair

Bottle King – Multiple locations statewide

Gary’s Wine – Bernardsville, Madison and Wayne

Joe Canal’s – Multiple locations in South Jersey

Princeton Corkscrew – Princeton

Sterling Fine Wines – Sterling

Tewksbury Fine Wine & Spirits – Oldwick

Wine Legend – Livingston and West Orange

Wine Library – Springfield

Happy Easter!


Veronique Deblois is a food and wine blogger based in Morris County, NJ. As the author of the popular blog, Food & Wine Chickie, Veronique shares recipes, wine and restaurant reviews. Follow Veronique on Twitter, Instagram or like her Facebook page.

Editor’s note: Prices are subject to change. Also, be on the lookout for an upcoming Jersey Bites post about NJ wines for Easter!