I hope that everybody will be sitting down to a great meal with family and friends this coming Easter Sunday. Some will be having lamb; others, ham and all the fixings. Let’s have a look at a few good wines for lamb and switch up for those that drink well with ham.
Willamette Valley Vineyards, Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, 2017, ($25.99), is emblematic of all the great things about this region. Plush, rich wines are created all over this valley and this Pinot Noir is one of several wines made by Jim Bernau. Plums, cherries red berries and a tangy, leathery aspect on the nose, full-bodied, but structured on the palette and a long, satisfying finish makes this one a natural for Lamb dishes of any kind, but you might try it with a ham as well.
Frisk Prickly Riesling, Victoria, Australia, 2017, ($12.99), is a great match for Ham dinners. It’s a blend of 85% Riesling, 10% Muscat Gordo, 5% Gewurztraminer and it has a pleasant ‘spritz’ of natural carbonation created by the yeasts in the wine. Grab a couple of bottles-it’s tasty, low in alcohol and priced right. It’s also a nice complement to many deserts, for those who make it that far!
2018 Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc, Sonoma, California, ($19.99), is one of the first wines that was made by the iconic maker, over 35 years ago. The good news is that all of their wines have just gotten better every year! Another natural for a Ham dinner and all the traditional fixings that go with it, this one is dry, with flavors of lemongrass, kiwi and guava. Very smooth on the finish; you’ll also notice that as it sits in the glass longer, more fruit flavors and a definite acidity occur, (however, knowing most of our readers, that probably won’t be part of the experience!).
Another wine that will complement a Ham dinner and appetizers, as well is Pinot Grigio. The real PG comes from high in the Italian Alps foothills of the Alto Adige and is sublime when made the right way. One of the families that produces wines that meet those standards is Elena Walch and her daughters. Their Elena Walch Pinot Grigio Castel Ringberg 2016, ($25.99),is just outstanding. Pure and clean, crisp and dry but thanks to the polished fruit, floral elements, hints of mountain herbs and rippling flinty minerality, it sings. Perfect not only with Ham, but with August tomato salad and cold pork sausages. A rare single vineyard beauty that offers a few years of improvement in store if you have the patience, yet enjoyable right now.
Back to the Lamb, you should consider a nice Malbec. Norton Malbec Reserva, 2016, Mendoza, Argentina, ($19.99), fits the bill pretty nicely. It’s got a big body, but with soft tannins, so that it doesn’t overpower the food. You’ll find notes of dark berries, vanilla and mocha. Smooth and structured, with a nice finish, this one is especially good if you’re going to grill your lamb. Don’t forget the mint jelly or some apricot jam. Really delicious! Happy Easter!
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