We've reached a new milestone. This is Wine Novice's fifth annual Easter wine column, and it wouldn't be possible without the oeniphiles who look forward to the selections and, of course, the expert contributors who make them. (See my "novice" list.)
Thanks to our three specialists, there are 26 fabulous wines to peruse and choose. Surprisingly, more than half are white or rosé, showing an emerging trend for aromatic, expressive and crisp styles for the holiday dinner.
Andrea DiFiore, Wine and Store Manager, Andover Classic Wines
* Col de Salici Prosecco Vintage 2013, $21.99 -- Toast family and friends at Easter for all the blessings we have. A single vineyard Prosecco with hints of pears and wisteria in bloom. It is zesty with green-apple fruit and finishes medium dry.
* Tasca Leone d'Almerita 2014, $21.99 -- Leone is a superbly crafted Sicilian blend of Catarratto, Pinot Blanco, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer. Soft texture and layers with crisp acidity and a creamy finish.
* Vievite Rosé Cote de Provence 2016, $21.99 -- Aromas of ripe tropical fruit, white flowers and a discreet touch of spice. On the palate well-structured fruit and balanced acidity create a crisp delicate dry finish.
* Douloufakis Dafnes Vidiano 2015, $15.99 -- This is a gem of an organic white wine from Greece: beautiful notes of honeysuckle, apricots and stony white fruit. It is crisp, refreshing and delicious.
* Josef and Philips Gruner Veltliner 2015, 19.99 -- This is one of the prettiest and most refreshing Gruner's we've ever had. Tons of amazing minerality, acidity and freshness.
* Hofgut Falkenstein Riesling Spatlese 2015, $21.99 -- It's sweet and a little salty, a perfect pairing with ham. It has lovely herbal accents and a hint of sweetness.
* Le Pupille Morellino di Scansano 2013, Tuscany, $17.99 -- A blend of Sangiovese and Malvasia Nera, it's an incredibly smooth wine with all red fruit and a little spice added for complexity. Perfect with a crown roast.
* La Sacristie de la Vielle Cure Fronsac 2013, Bordeaux, $21.99 -- A 100 percent Merlot fit for lamb dinner. Bold black fruit with a note of coffee bean and hints of charcoal, lead pencil shavings and truffles. It's full-bodied, pure and nicely textured.
Sam Messina, The Wine ConneXtion, North Andover
* Francois Villard Viognier 2015, France, $19.99 -- Straw yellow color with green tinges. This wine has layers of powerful and complex aromas: violets, apricots, peaches, honey and dried fruit. On the palate, these flavors are rich with a smooth texture and exotic fruit on the finish.
* M. Chapoutier Cote's Du Rhone Blanc 2015, France, $9.99 -- On the nose, green apple, hawthorn and white blossoms, citrus aromas and exotic fruits. On the palate, fresh and well-balanced, lot of fatness and length.
* Solosole Vermentino 2015, Italy, $15.99 -- The radiance of Vermentino captivates with its intense hints of flowers and unexpected yellow fruit. The palate has a medium body, is succulent and highly enjoyable.
* Starmount Chardonnay 2013, California, $14.99 -- Golden straw color and aromas of crisp apple, tangerine, apricot tart, subtle toast, vanilla, stone fruit. It has a bright focused entry to a round, fleshy mid-palate. A long, lingering finish.
* Etude Estate Pinot Noir 2014, California, $32.99 -- The wine does an excellent job of balancing its ripe fruit, tannins, and barrel influence. The bright finish makes it an attractive match with grilled lamb or ham. Masterful.
* Markham Vineyards 1879 Red Blend 2014, California, $17.99 -- Seriously fun to drink. The 2014 starts with toffee, coffee and milk chocolate punctuated with black pepper and tobacco. Ripe berry flavors reminisce of summer afternoons spent picking wild fruit in hopes of delicious treats to come. Rich, lush and yet velvety on the finish. This wine breaks the rules and you should, too; pair it with whatever you please!
* Ehret Family Ballerina Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, California, $17.99 -- An opulent, nicely structured wine from Knights Valley. It exudes aromas of ripe black fruit, mocha, dried herbs and licorice. Flavors of supple blue and black fruit notes accented by dark chocolate, roasted coffee and a silky, lingering finish.
* Wilson Creek Peach Bellini, California, $15.99 -- High-quality sparking wine infused with natural peach flavor. Excellent as an aperitif or mixing with cocktails.
Jo-Ann Ross, DWS, FWS, JRossWine
* Mionetto Prosecco Treviso Brut, NV, $15 -- Fruity, dry, fresh, light, clean and celebratory. This is a very traditional Prosecco.
* Charles Sparr Cremant d'Alsace, NV, $22 -- Made in the traditional method like Champagne, it is a touch heavier than the Prosecco, with lovely fruit aromas and flavors.
* Lugana San Benedetto 2014, $13 -- A white wine with lovely floral aromas and nice, crisp acidity. A perfect fit for the first course or a fish dish for Easter. You'd think you were sipping right on Lake Garda in northern Italy.
* Domaine Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 2013, $17 -- Most people shy away from Riesling, saying, "It's too sweet." Many wine professionals, however, say Riesling, with its tartness and lovely aromas, is one of the most food-friendly wines around.
* Gerard Bertrand, Gris Blanc Rosé 2016, $14 -- A lovely, graceful, pale-colored rosé. The bottle is quite lovely, too.
* Masciarelli Rosato, Italy, $9 -- Many people have fallen in love with the Montepulciano grape from the Italian region of Abruzzo. Here's a darker-colored, spirited rosé made from the delightful varietal.
* Bouchard Pere & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir, $20 -- It is so difficult to find a delicious Bourgogne (Burgundy) wine for under $20. But Pinot Noir, the main red grape of Bourgogne, is so very food-friendly. Give this wine a slight chill and bring out some delicious berry flavors and tartness.
* Viniola Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva, Cantina Dorgali, $20 -- Italy has this amazing habit of changing the grape names in different regions. The Cannonau grape is the same as the juicy, friendly Grenache or Garnacha grape.
* Chateau La Grolet Cotes De Bourg, 2012, $17 -- This is from one of the Cotes on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. If you have a soft spot for Right Bank Merlot-based wines, try the Cotes.
* Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2013, $24 -- This is the real deal for Chianti Classico -- rustic, juicy, tart Sangiovese.
Jim Campanini, The Wine Novice
For Pinot Noir lovers, there is no better holiday than Easter to experience the flavorful pleasure of this wonderful, and distinctive, grape. Here are some suggestions that pair well with ham, lamb and even a midday, lightly sauced lasagna.
Wine by Joe Pinot Noir 2014, Oregon, $10.99 -- Veteran winemaker Joe Dobbs' luxury wines bring raves, so why doubt his workingman's brand? Here's a juicy, jammy wine that's flavorful -- cherry, strawberry, plum -- and smooth. Great price at the Wine ConneXtion.
Meiomi Pinot Noir Monterey-Sonoma 2015, $18.99 -- Constellation Brands makes 750,000 cases of this annually and for good reason. Its taste profile, originated by Joe Wagner, is so appealing to a wide range of consumers. Generous to a fault, the long, layered finish is one of the best at this price point.
Boen Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2015, $15.99 -- So here's one of Joe Wagner's new, stunning creations -- along with Elouan (Oregon, $22) -- that confirms the winemaker's miraculous touch with this often difficult grape. I reviewed Boen several weeks, and my thoughts haven't changed. It's beautiful.
Hahn SLH Pinot Noir, Calif., $25.99 -- From the Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH), here's a silky, delicious wine of cherry tart and plum flavors. Nicky Hahn selects the best grapes for this limited bottling.
Belle Glos Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Dairyman 2014, $49.95 -- If there's a reason to spend more for a special seat at the table (maybe you want to impress your in-laws), here's my favorite. The Clark & Telephone version is also good, but Dairyman's complexity -- black and red fruit framed with licorice and expresso -- is sensual and exquisite. My only problem is stripping off the thick plastic band covering the cork.