The tradition of the Easter Bunny has been around since the 1700s when German immigrants in Pennsylvania cultivated the notion of an egg-laying hare called Osterhase, and children would build little nests for the hare to put her eggs in.
The Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring was named Eostre and she spent her days with a hare as a companion (it must have been 3 drinks for a shilling at the pub that night), but the hare symbolized fertility – hence the eggs.
And speaking of eggs, did you hear about old Mr. Jones? He went in to see his doctor and said, “Doc, you gotta help me. Mrs. Jones thinks she’s a chicken.” The doctor says, “That’s terrible. How long has this been going on?” “Almost 2 years now,” replied Mr. Jones. “Two years,” exclaimed the doctor. “Why didn’t you come to see me sooner?” “Well, to be honest, Doc, we needed the eggs.”
Enough already. This is supposed to be a wine blog, so braised Bugs Bunny with a bitter glass of revenge aside, there are still some fine food and wine pairings for Easter that work well and don’t conjure poor ol’ Flopsy bubbling away on the Kenmore.
The traditional main courses for Easter dinner are Lamb, Ham and Salmon (sounds like a Scottish law firm). We at Bin 94 pride ourselves on pairing great wines with great food, so let me offer a couple of suggestions for each entrée.
For the lamb my first choice would be an amazing wine from La Mondianese, a small winery in the hills of Piemonte, in the northwest of Italy. The wine is 100% grignolino, a grape that you may have never heard of, but one that will delight your palate. The wine has a bright acidity, a beautiful red-rust color and is light to medium bodied. The red fruit and spice flavors will be the perfect complement to your lamb dish. Not only that, it’s a bargain at $14.99 for such a unique wine.
If you’re after something with a bit more oomph, I’d direct you to the Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz. This is a full-bodied red with dark berry and cocoa flavors, fresh herb accents and an appropriate zing. It has a warm, mouth coating finish that will pair well with the heartiness of any lamb preparation. A steal at $15.99.
If Porky Pig’s on the menu my suggestions go in two different directions. My first choice would be the Hecht & Bannier rosé, an aromatic blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah from the Côtes de Provence in the south of France. This wine has hints of strawberry and pineapple to go with its bright acidity and super clean finish. A superb example of dry and delicious rosé. $19.99.
For a bigger companion, I’d recommend the 2014 Pinnacoli Primativo from Puglia in the heel of Italy’s boot. This rich, smooth red has loads of plum and red berries with just a whiff of smokiness. At $15.99 this vivacious vino makes a perfect pact with the pork.
Finally, if it’s salmon making its way upstream onto the dinner table I offer two wonderful whites as companions. First is the JJ Vincent Bourgogne Blanc, a classic French white burgundy (100% chardonnay) that is so perfectly balanced it would make Philippe Petit blush (he’s the guy who walked a tightrope between the World Trade Towers). Flavors of apple and pear with just the right amount of oak to provide a creamy richness. $21.99.
Fishing for a bit more tang? The Poggio Anima Grillo from Sicily is a wine that always reminds me of the sea air and lemons. What could be better, and it’s only $14.99.
Having something else for dinner? Stop in to the Bin and we’ll find you the perfect companion. No boiling required.