Thursday, April 10, 2014

Food and wine pairing recommendations for your Easter dinner

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

The nine family-owned and operated wineries of the LehighValley 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 Amore Pink Passion 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 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 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 - Clover Hill’s DeChaunac is a semi-sweet red wine with fruity and earthy characteristics that pairs nicely with kielbasa or Easter ham. DeChaunac is 10 percent off for the month of April at all Clover Hill locations. And try Clover Hill’s Holiday Ham Glaze on your Easter Ham.

Franklin Hill Vineyards, Bangor - For traditional Easter Dinners serving ham or pork, their Kiss and Catawba are perfect pairings. Don't be afraid to think outside the box this year and consider Franklin Hill's Hard Cider. It's light and bubbly, and a fun option to offer guests.  

Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery, Andreas – Winery Owners Galen and Sarah recommend what they are serving at their own Easter celebration: their semi-dry Riesling with honey mustard glazed ham, their Stone Cellar Chambourcin with braised lamb shanks, and their Stone Cellar Vidal Blanc Ice Wine with cheesecake.

Pinnacle Ridge, Kutztown - Their 2013 Vidal Blanc (a double gold winner in this year’s Finger Lakes International Wine Competition) is the perfect companion for traditional Easter fare. To make more of a splash, their Brut Rose sparkling wine (a silver medal winner) would be a festive choice.

Tolino Vineyards, Bangor - Enjoy the light, crisp pear and apple notes of their 2010 Chardonnay paired with Easter ham. Savor the full-bodied cherry and oak notes of their 2010 Cabernet Franc with a dark chocolate cherry cake.

Vynecrest Winery, Breinigsville – Celebrate the return of spring with Vynecrest's Estate-Bottled Sparkling Vidal wine. Made from 100 percent Vidal Blanc, this sparkling wine finishes slightly sweet which is perfect with ham with pineapple, turkey with cranberry, or lamb with mint jelly ($14.99). The chocolate in the Easter basket goes nicely with Cherry DiVyne, resulting in a heavenly sensation ($13.99).

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