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Easter is the spring holiday that coincides with the return of warmer, sunnier weather. Cherry blossoms are blooming and the flowers are peeking up to say hello. It is great time to gather friends and family together for a vernal celebration.

With celebratory dinners like these you might select one wine to pair with the protein, while another one might go better with the various side dishes. For meals such as these, my advice is to always serve two wines and compare them as you go. And besides, two glasses in front of every plate looks pretty fancy. With that in mind, I will offer two suggestions for each course.

For most people it isn’t BBQ season yet, so lamb, turkey or ham are often the go-to choices. When it comes to which wines to serve with these meals think of sparkling, light whites, rosés or lighter reds.

To start the dinner, or to serve guests when they arrive, nothing beats a cold crisp delicious glass of sparkling wine. You are sure to impress with Methode Traditional from Blue Grouse. Another delightful B.C. bubble is The Bub from Haywire.

A well marinated roasted lamb is truly hard to beat. I like to cook lamb low and slow. Make sure your marinade includes some rosemary and red wine in the seasonings and the longer you marinate the meat, the better.

  • Red wine – a big red such as TIME Syrah will be unparalleled here.
  • White wine – big again, McWatters Collection Chardonnay

A roasted golden skinned turkey is always a crowd pleaser. Savoury stuffing, gravy and a selection of vegetable side dishes allows for a range of wines to choose from.

  • Red Wine – Haywire Pinot Noir
  • White wine – Evolve Riesling

If your choice is ham, then Riesling, Gewürztraminer or other aromatic wines are great choices for a white wine and Pinot Noir is an ideal red. And don’t forget you could always go down the middle and opt for a rosé like one from Singletree.

  • Red Wine – Pinot Noir from Singletree
  • White Wine – Blue Grouse Bacchus

And finally, not to ignore the growing number of vegetarians out there, if you are serving dishes of asparagus, fresh beans or casseroles, broccoli, Brussel sprouts or peas then try a Sauvignon Blanc. Its grassy and vegetal qualities will be perfect. If you prefer reds, Pinot Noir’s flavour profile truly compliments dishes with mushrooms and caramelized onions.

Dessert? After a big meal, many have little room or interest in eating more, so why not satisfy those sweet cravings with a lovely little glass of a fortified wine such as Blue Grouse Black Muscat. Now that is the perfect end to a wonderful meal.

—by Sam Hauck for Vancouver is Awesome

Sam Hauck, aka Sam The Wine Teacher, is a wine writer, wine educator, home winemaker, and wine judge. 

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