Easter Sunday is a perfect day to celebrate with friends and family while enjoying great food and wine. But if you’re hosting, or in charge of picking the bottles, finding the right pairing can seem like a daunting or even impossible task. But it doesn’t have to be.
We picked some classic Easter dishes—deviled eggs, ham, pea and pecorino salad, lamb and potatoes—and found bottles that will pair perfectly with each, across a variety of price points.
Why it works: Eggs are notoriously difficult to pair with wine but they don’t have to be. Look for something that’s either bubbly, high in acid or fruity to balance out the creamy yolk.
Mt. Beautiful 2016 Riesling (North Canterbury); $22, 91 points. The North Canterbury region, 70 miles north of Christchurch, excels at a range of cool climate varietals, and Riesling is one of them. This one has 13 grams of residual sugar, which is enough to detect, but mainly contributes a slippery texture and balances the acidity. On the nose, there are notes of lemon, lime, white pepper, lavender and other wildflower blossoms. The palate finishes on a tasty honeysuckle note. A delicate and varietally expressive drop from an underrated region that should be drunk now or within the next few years. Mt. Beautiful USA. —Christina Pickard
Domaine Houchart 2018 Rosé (Côtes de Provence); $14, 90 points. Always an attractive wine, this release remains as reliable in this vintage. The classic blend is full, ripe with a touch of caramel as well as raspberry flavors. Lightly textured and full of fruit, the wine is ready to drink. Ruby Wines Inc. Best Buy. —Roger Voss
Keuka Spring 2017 Riesling (Finger Lakes); $17, 90 points. A bright nose of apple and pear aromas melds with an edging of tangerine and grapefruit in this off-dry wine. The palate is delicate and soft, displaying a plump orchard-fruit flavor backed by orange acidity. A peach-fuzz texture lingers on the finish. —Alexander Peartree
Nino Franco 2017 Brut (Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore); $27, 90 points. Honeysuckle, green-apple and white-almond aromas follow over to the lightly foaming palate along with pear, crushed herb and a hint of ginger. A soft mousse provides the backdrop. Terlato Wines International. —Kerin O’Keefe
Why it works: Ham is full of salty, rich and smoky flavors. To balance those, you’ll need a bottle with low tannins and loads of fresh fruit.
Williams Selyem 2017 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $55, 94 points. This is such an impressive appellation-wide blend, combining several vineyard sites into a cohesive whole. Incredibly aromatic in rose and raspberry, the palate brings velvety layers of dark cherry and cinnamon, with integrated acidity keeping the balance. —Virginie Boone
Hirsch 2017 Ried Gaisberg Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal); $45, 93 points. The nose is a picture of zesty lemon and salty yeast. It is the savoriness of the yeasty core that takes over on the
creamy yeast, zesty palate. This is fluid and compact, with an enticing, savory juiciness of green pear. The finish is lip-smacking and long. Skurnik Wines, Inc. —Anne Krebiehl MW
Luna Hart 2016 Cabernet Franc (Los Olivos District); $34, 92 points. This is Cabernet Franc done in a fresh and zesty style, starting with aromas of raspberry, cranberry, dewy herbs and green peppercorns. The palate is loaded with cracked pepper, juniper and mossy herbs, yet the ripe red apples and dried berry flavors complete the refreshing picture. Serve a bit chilled. Editors’ Choice. —Matt Kettmann
Château des Jacques 2016 La Roche (Moulin-à-Vent); $41, 92 points. This well-structured, layered wine offers beautiful ripe cherry and red-berry fruits. Aged in wood, it has spice as well as great richness. Its fresh edge gives a lift at the end while the tannins will let it age. Owned by the Beaune negociant Louis Jadot, this wine should be kept until 2021. Kobrand. —R.V.
Charles & Charles 2018 Rosé (Columbia Valley); $15, 90 points. Syrah (71%) makes up the backbone of this wine along with Cabernet Sauvignon (17%) and other Rhône varieties. An appealing pale-salmon color, this wine has bright watermelon, strawberry, kiwi and cherry candy aromas that lead to a tart pink-grapefruit flavor and mouthwatering acidity. Best Buy. —Sean P. Sullivan
Pea and pecorino salad
Why it works: Look for mineral-driven wines for this pairing, as they tend to accentuate pecorino while letting the fresh flavor of the peas shine through.
Gloria Ferrer 2013 Late Disgorged Carneros Cuvée Sparkling Rosé (Carneros); $85, 94 points. Orange in color, with a dry intense mousse of great intrigue, this aged sparkling offers limestone-like mineral flavor that continues in its texture of wet stone and oyster shell. The fruit is subtle and integrated, a mix of key lime and green apple that peaks midpalate and allows the acidity to speak resoundingly on the finish. This is made from 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. —V.B.
De Wetshof 2018 Limestone Hill Chardonnay (Robertson); $16, 90 points. A pale yellow color, this wine smells fresh, vibrant and inviting, with lively aromas of citrus, lemon-lime, yellow apple, green melon and a touch of mineral dust. Lightweight and well balanced, it has a bright acidic seam and fresh, zippy citrus and green apple tones, with hints of sea breeze and limestone minerality. Bright and sassy, this is well balanced and oh-so-easy to like and drink. Broadbent Selections, Inc. Editors’ Choice. —Lauren Buzzeo
Poggio al Tesoro 2017 Solosole Vermentino (Toscana); $25, 90 points. Yellow-peach, tropical-fruit and Mediterranean brush aromas follow through to the fresh, rounded palate along with a vein of saline and white grapefruit. It’s juicy and savory, with a bitter-almond finish. E. & J. Gallo. —K.O.
Two Vintners 2016 Make Haste Cinsault (Yakima Valley); $25, 90 points. This is a rare, 100% varietal offering from the state, with all of the fruit coming from Olsen Vineyard. Quite pale in color and aged in neutral barrels, it offers aromas of cherry Jolly Rancher, raspberry, white pepper and primary berry notes. Elegant, very pretty fruit flavors follow.
It shows a lovely sense of balance and freshness, all about elegance. A superb value to boot. Editors’ Choice. —S.P. S.
Why it works: Lamb is often paired with “gamy” wines, but look for a fruiter bottles as they are less likely to overtake the meat’s flavor.
12 Linajes 2014 Reserva (Ribera del Duero); $35, 93 points. Ripe, smooth blackberry and tobacco aromas are chocolaty and subtle. Full allotments of black fruits, tannins and acidity play well together, while this tastes of blackberry, black cherry and baking spice. To back it all up, a rock-solid finish with notes of lemony oak, vanilla and tobacco is on point. Drink through 2028. USA Wine West. Editors’ Choice. —Michael Schachner
Campovida 2017 Trails End Vineyard Rosé di Grenache (Mendocino County); $36, 91 points. This appealing and well-balanced wine checks all the boxes for rosé. It is crisp, lively and lightly fruity. The color is light salmon, the aromas are full of peaches and tangerines and the flavors are dry, tangy and just fruity enough. —Jim Gordon
Maryetta 2017 Roma’s Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley); $40, 91 points. This medium-bodied wine has personality, good balance and a subtle but memorable mélange of fruit, spice and savory flavors. The aroma catches sour cherries, stems and earth while the flavors bring black cherry, cranberry and a hint of rhubarb. Good acidity and mild tannins help form an appetizing mouthfeel. —J.G.
Meli 2015 Carignan (Maule Valley); $17, 90 points. For years running Meli has been a consistent producer of quality Carignan at a good price. This vintage is maybe the winery’s best yet, with plum, berry, licorice and fennel aromas leading a foresty nose. Blackberry and black cherry flavors come with a peppery backing, while this feels fresh and tastes of dark plum and raspberry on the finish. Drink now–2022. Global Vineyard Importers. Editors’ Choice. —M.S.
Why it works: Potatoes go great with just about any red or white wine with ample body.
Hanzell 2016 Chardonnay (Sonoma Valley); $78, 95 points. This impressive white delivers a core of quince, lemon rind and apple that blends with accents of white flower and lemongrass. Crisp acidity drives the freshness on the textured palate, offering elegance and plenty of layers of intrigue. This will do well in the cellar; enjoy 2021–2026. Cellar Selection. —V.B.
René Muré 2017 V Pinot Noir (Alsace); $60, 93 points. The nose is shy but the palate slowly reveals a deep well of pure, profound fruit. Cherry and raspberry have an edge of orange zest and an elegant, inherent harmony. Concentrated but slender, the wine shows both ease and depth. Gargouille Collection. —A.K.
Commanderie de Peyrassol 2018 Le Clos Peyrassol Rosé (Côtes de Provence) $34, 91 points. So pale as to be almost white, this wine is fruity and just lightly tannic. It has a zesty texture, with the merest hint of tannins and plenty of intense fruitiness. The wine is sophisticated and beautifully ready to drink.
Domaine Ménard-Gaborit 2012 Monnières-Saint-Fiacre (Muscadet Sèvre et Maine); $19, 90 points. From one of the crus villages, this wonderfully mature wine from a top Muscadet vintage is ripe, nutty and tangy. Even after seven years, the wine has kept its freshness and lilt of acidity. Drink this rich wine now. Hirsch Collection. —R.V.