Stu Watson
April 1, 2015 | Stu Watson

Pairing wine with Easter dinner? Relax: Whatever your pour, it will go with something

Easter Sunday, one of the big family gathering times of the year, may also leave you feeling a bit flummoxed.

With all the variety on the table, how do you pick the perfect wine?

Relax. First, there is no perfect wine for all foods. Your choice may be simple, if your meal features one special entrée. If you’re serving two or three entrees,  you may need to pop more than a single cork.

Here’s another reason to relax. At Naked Winery, we believe wine, food and family should be fun. So why stress about it? There will be no test at the end of the day. No grade. No promotion or demotion, based on what wine you did or didn’t drink.

Beyond the simple advice to drink what you like, we do know that some wines go better with certain dishes than others. So, how do you pick? If this is where your mind contorts into a pretzel, here’s some simple advice from Maxine Borcherding, a chef and sommelier (so-mahl-ee-yay) at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland.

“If it's light-bodied food, pour a light-bodied wine," she says. "If it's full-bodied food, then go with a full-bodied wine.

Salmon pairs well with chardonnay. Salmon also pairs nicely with pinot noir. But salmon seldom comes to the table in and of itself. We add all sorts of seasonings and sauces. Challenged by that complexity? Here’s a good guide to fine-tuning the wine.

Dark meat chicken (or duck or turkey) marries nicely with pinot noir. Breast cuts tilt more toward a chardonnay, sauvignon blanc or Naked's pinot gris. If you’re flipping the bird, here’s guidance to get the glass right.

Lamb, again, depends. Younger cuts, like rack of lamb, may tilt toward lighter reds such as a pinot noir or Beaujolais, whereas a big, garlicky leg of lamb will argues for Bordeaux backing – cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cab franc. Explore a range of options here.

"You could even go with a Nebbiolo, which I noticed you have at Naked," Borcherding says.

And ham? The salty brine begs for a complementary sip. Think about a bottle that features off-dry sweetness, or fruit notes. Minnesota Monthly magazine suggests a range of pours on both sides of the spectrum. Maybe, for example, Naked's Booty Call Blush

From the expert advice, we’re thinking it’s almost impossible to pick the wrong wine to go with your Easter meal.

"The other thing that I suggest is that some people always drink white or always drink red, no matter what," Borcherding says.

"So, put both on the able. Just be judicious with your choices."

Then sit back and enjoy the time with your family.



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