Friday, March 23, 2012

Easter food and wine pairing recommendations

Easter is a special occasion that brings families together for a day of egg hunting in the backyard, visits with an oversized bunny, and baskets filled with candy and treats. But the highlight of the day is the celebratory meal.

The eight family-owned and operated wineries of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail understand how important that meal is and offer the following food and wine pairing suggestions for this year’s dinner.

Amoré Vineyards & Winery, Nazareth
Pair Rose Amore with ham, pork and sauerkraut. After dinner, relax with a glass of Rapport or Vidal Blanc dessert wines.

Big Creek Vineyard and Winery, Kresgeville
Their Vin di Pasqualina (named after the owner’s Great Aunt Pasqualina Lapetina) is a favorite all-around wine for traditional Easter dinners. Both sweet and dry wine fans will enjoy the glass-filling aroma of this semi-dry rose. Vin is a blend of three grapes, but the bouquet and character come from Niagara, an aromatic white grape that can stand a little chill and still deliver a ton of flavor. It does very well as an aperitif or with ham, turkey, or even baked ziti.

Blue Mountain Vineyards, New Tripoli
The medium-bodied flavor of their newly released 2008 Pinot Noir will compliment a glazed Easter ham. Their Riesling, non-oaked Chardonnay and White Merlot will also compliment the smoky flavor of ham.

Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville
The winery suggests Turtle Rock Red, made from 100% Chambourcin grapes (the official wine grape of the Lehigh Valley) with a slight bit of natural sweetness, best served with a slight chill. This wine is a great accompaniment to Easter ham, and garlic or smoked kielbasa.

Franklin Hill Vineyards, Bangor
This year, the winery will be celebrating Easter with three senses and three flavors in its newest wine “3.” It pairs well with everything from salad and roast beef, to chocolate desserts and Easter candy. Break tradition and drink red wines with ham and pork!

Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery, Andreas
Their Rieslings will add the distinguishing touch to an Easter celebration. The half-dry Riesling matches well with quiche, salads or ham. The dry Stone Cellar Riesling drinks easily with seafood, turkey and poultry.

Pinnacle Ridge, Kutztown
The winery suggests their Brut Rose or Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine for Easter. What a better way to celebrate a holiday than with sparkling wine!

Vynecrest Winery, Breinigsville
Their semi-sweet Riesling with a floral nose, grapefruit/melon mid-palate, and clean, tart finish pairs well with ham, lamb, turkey and all the Easter trimmings. Riesling is the April Wine of the Month with a discount of 10 percent per bottle.

The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail is a non-profit organization of wineries whose mission is to promote agri-tourism and to create a premiere wine destination and grape growing region while promoting Pennsylvania wines from the region. All of the member wineries have won numerous awards at state, national and international levels.

The Lehigh Valley region is an official American Viticultural Area as designated by the Federal Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in April 2008. The Lehigh Valley AVA includes portions of Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Schuylkill, Carbon and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania. In order to receive the designation a least 85% of the grapes used to make local wines must be grown within the region. Wineries in the region are permitted to list “Lehigh Valley” as the growing region on their labels.

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