As I have broached the subject of Easter dinner with customers, just about everyone has said that honey baked ham will be the centerpiece, so here are my recommendations:
1. Alsatian Gewurztraminer. Hugel and Pierre Sparr should be available by Wednesday of next week and priced between $15 and $25 per bottle. This medium body spicy white compliments both the spiciness and the sweetness of the meat. Perfecto!
2. Rose. Currently we have Tiger Mountain 2010 Georgia Rose which, like Gewurztraminer, is a historically proven pairing with ham. The red grape makeup of this $15 offering offers more flavor than a white and this one has noticable sweetness. Ooh-la-la!
3. Chardonnay. The California Chardonnay from Rotta of Paso Robles at $17/bottle and the new Handcraft Monterey Chardonnay at $13/bottle are both slightly off-dry and therefore acceptable with honey baked ham. Okey Dokey, Smokey.
4. Riesling. The Mosel Hauth-Kerpen 2008 (Blog March 17th) at $17/bottle has the sweetness for the meal and the class from its birthright to go with that ham. Ach du Lieber!
5. Off-Dry Red. How about Georgia's own Three Sisters Fat Boy Red at $16/bottle or Italian Lambrusco at $12 or Apothic Red from California at $10/bottle? They have noticable sweetness without going overboard. Coo-coo-ca-choo!
6. Champagne. If ever there was a holiday where champagne was appropriate this is it. Easter is the high point of the Christian calendar. Our stock includes examples priced from $10-$50/bottle. Let er rip!
7. Moscato. This would, of course, compliment the sweetness of the ham and may actually be the best choice of all for that reason. We have a half dozen from $10 to $20. Yum-m-m!
8. Pinot Grigio. This recommendation goes to the spring season. At $20 we have Waterstone; at $10, Loredona. Both are California wines from Napa and Monterey, respectively and both are about as good as they get. Clickety-click.
Just as Champagne is imminently appropriate for the holiday, so too is a spirit of splendor in your wine selection. This is not the time to be ruled by frugality. If you have that special bottle already in your rack, break it out for the occasion. If not and the rules are to be chucked out the window, stop in and pick up a great bottle fitting for Easter Sunday USA!