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Wines for Easter

It's not just raisin wine and grilled eel
Published on April 21, 2011

One of the best things about celebrating Passover and Easter is the massive feast that we share with our friends and family. There is much speculation about the type of food and wine that was served at these feasts, including the Last Supper. It was originally believed that bread and duck was served at this holy event but recent research uncovered that grilled eel garnished with orange slices could in fact be the main dish.

As far as the wine is concerned, there is no written proof of what kind was served. Many historians over several centuries have narrowed down what it could be. Historians believe that a sweet raisin wine called Passum was served and drank at these holy feasts. After they were ripe, grapes were sometimes left on the vine for more time until the sun had shriveled them to about half their size. Other times, the grapes were picked when ripe and then placed on to a tray to dry in the sun. Some wine makers just immersed the grapes in boiling olive oil.

Now that I've shared a history lesson with you, let’s talk about what kind of wine is enjoyed during this holiday. Even though there are no rules in wine and food pairing, I would like to give you some suggestions on making your dinner and wine more enjoyable.

If ham is going to be your main dish, consider a wine that is going to cut down the saltiness of the meat: a nice, dry or semi-dry white wine such as a lightly oaky chardonnay, a dry Gewurztraminer or a sweeter sparkling wine.

Steak and lamb are two of my family’s favorite feast meats and we typically enjoy a big California Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah to cut down the fat on our palates. Bordeaux blends such as Clarets or Meritage would be a great choice as well.

If turkey is being cooked at your feast, choose higher acidic wines like Pinot Noir or Red Zinfandel to complement not only the bird but the spicy side dishes as well.

Duck is among the favorite Easter main courses. I find it can be a bit gamey at times so I like to drink drier wines to cut down on that gaminess. Chianti or lighter-bodied Brunellos are great choices. But, I’d be willing to bet that drier Pinot Noirs from Burgundy or Grenache from Cote du Rhone would pair with the duck perfectly!

Now, I have never had grilled eel with sweet raisin wine but like the Last Supper, all great wine should be enjoyed with great company! Enjoy your feast and happy sipping!

Craig Brazeal
The Rock & Roll Wine Commando

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Top 10 Varietals for December, 2019

Pinot Noir is the most popular wine varietal chosen by our visitors this month.

This varies by season so if you're looking for something tasty to drink this winter, Pinot Noir is a great choice. The others are shown below:

1. Pinot Noir
2. Red Bordeaux Blend
3. Syrah
4. Nebbiolo
5. Cabernet Sauvignon
6. Merlot
7. Chardonnay
8. Red Blend
9. Sangiovese
10. Riesling

Top 10 Producers for December, 2019

Wines from Sapphire Hill were selected by our visitors the most this month, making them the most popular choice for consumers.

If you're looking for a wine suggestion, Sapphire Hill might be a great place to start. The others are shown below.

1. Sapphire Hill
2. Phelan Vineyard
3. Stephen Test
4. Ferdinand Pieroth
5. Adelsheim
6. Silver Oak
7. Louis Jadot
8. Viansa
9. Andrew Will
10. Bruno Giacosa