Easter in the UK is always a bit tricky to cater for. Will it be hot? Or will it be chilly? Will we be outside BBQing the lamb or will be indoors having a roast dinner? Looking at the weather report this year, the UK British Summer looks to be stereotypically unpredictable. It makes planning ahead for every eventuality even more tricky - without even mentioning the Covid-19 restrictions.
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Of course, just as important as what you are going to cook is what you are going to drink. So here are our top wines to drink this Easter. There’s a real mix of white, red and rose so that you can have a selection on hand to respond to whatever the weather throws at you.
Albariño is often a very drinkable grape, thanks to having crisp tones softened by fragrant undernotes. Paco & Lola’s Albariño is no exception and is, in fact, exceptional. Having won numerous awards, this 2018 wine will please most palates, making it the perfect choice if you have guests around at some point over the Easter weekend. Light enough to drink on its own, it is also fantastic paired with food. Most people will jump to serve it with fish or chicken, but it is wonderful to have with BBQ meat and salads as well.
This light pink wine is the quintessential Provencal rose. Light and refreshing, its iconic shaped bottle is instantly recognisable. Drinking it is easy thanks to being thirst quenching and citrusy enough to be quaffable with or without food. It makes for the ideal all day drinking wine, best enjoyed when the sun is shining brightly. However, it's delicious enough to enjoy even if there is a snow storm outside.
Chardonnays are not for everybody. A lot of people get put off by them as they sometimes have a strong oaky flavour that’s not to everyone’s liking. This award winning wine from the Margaret River region of Australia however is hard not to like. In fact, it's so popular in Australia that very little of it actually manages to leave the country. Thanks to its acidity, it is far easier to drink than traditional oaky chardonnays. Good to pair with any fish or seafood starters, you’ll need to buy a few bottles of this in case your guests don’t switch on to red for their main course.
While this is pretty pricey for just a single bottle of rioja, if you can stretch to it, you will not regret it. The 2014 Gran Reserva is so tasty you may not want to serve it at all if you have a small handful of friends or family coming round for Easter Sunday. As to be expected from a rioja, this is a rich red but it is acidic enough to be very moreish. The freshness means that while it is perfect to eat with either your roast or BBQ lamb, you can drink it on its own while the kids are entertained searching for eggs the Easter Bunny left.
If the Rioja Alta is a bit more than you want to spend, Muga’s rioja reserva from 2016 is also a fantastic choice. Some traditional wine buffs may be tempted to bed this one down for a few years - but given the pandemic forcing us indoors for so long, we say try it now. It is the perfect pairing with lamb thanks to being both smooth and refined. It has enough spice in it to match up to the notes of vanilla so it’s not so rich you can only have one glass.
The cheaper sister of Whispering Angel is so yummy that it is hard to find a reason to shell out the extra fiver to buy the original. Fruity without being overpowering, like all good roses, this is also a very refreshing wine that is brilliant value considering who the makers of it are. Plus, practically speaking, it’s one of those good wines to serve to a number of guests because it also has a screw cap. Not all purists will love that, but it certainly takes the edge off keeping everyone’s glasses being topped up.
Bread and Butter are a winemaker that you need to put on your must try list. And start with this Pinot Noir. There is a lot of flavour in this bottle thanks to the enormous amounts of red berries that come through the bouquet. It’s crisp though thanks to cherries and cranberries being the overriding fruit that you can taste. It is great with lamb, but also with vegetarian or vegan food thanks to the spicy notes in each delicious mouthful.
Wines for Easter - what to buy
We have all had a tough year. With many of us having our Christmas plans dashed, the long Easter weekend and recent, slight relaxation of Lockdown restrictions offers us all an opportunity to relax. Picking some delicious wines to enjoy with your food is a great way to celebrate getting through a pretty bleak winter. Now is a great time to sit back and indulge.