grapes from a vineyard in a wooden box

Let’s keep this simple; I won’t recommend specific wines for Easter, because there are so many wonderful budget bottles on the supermarket and offy shelves. Instead, I’m going to gently roll two grape varieties in your direction – namely pinot noir and Riesling – for your Easter lunch, which is of the great foodie celebrations of the year.

Let’s start with my choice of red; the enduring pinot noir. This is one of the easiest wines to identify thanks to its distinctive plummy purpleness, and its strawberry cordial aroma. Its light body keeps those big bullies tempranillo and Shiraz at bay, due to its thin skin when harvested – for this reason, it’s also used in champagne. Pinot is perfect for game and red meat (especially beef, and even more specifically, this Jamie roast rib of beef recipe). If you haven’t gone massively big on budget, pour some in the roasting pan to make the perfect gravy, with an almost Cumberland sauce stickiness, this wine doesn’t yield to heat. To my mind, nobody does pinot noir better than the French, so look out for a wine from there.

If you’re cooking up fish this weekend and red isn’t your colour of choice (I don’t hold with the rule that red can’t go with seafood – pinot is great chilled with a punchy moules mariniere, for example), then I suggest a Riesling. Crisp and springy with a bright citrus and elderflower tang, Riesling ticks all the boxes for an easy drinker. It’s perfect with this lip-smacking sea bass recipe too if you’re looking for ideas.

My favourite is a trocken (dry) from the northern Rhine, close to the banks of the Loralei in Germany. The bio-dynamically grown vines clinging to the steep slopes in this gorgeous part of the world are developed by a new generation of incredible young wine-makers. They are proud of this grape and have worked hard to free it from the image of German wines from the 1970s and ‘80s, being cheap, overly-sweet and only drunk by people who’d never heard of Wagner.

So there you have it; two wines perfect for Easter feasting. Pop the cork or twist the cap to open up a day of gorgeous food and wine. Cheers!

Photo by Jim Fischer