Smell the wine, sip it and savor it. Let your Easter wines feel the love. Enjoy the holiday, my friends, and drink responsibly.
Here are my suggestions for Easter dinner. (Tip: I'll be pairing a white or rosé as a starter, to be followed with a red for the main course.)
Gratien & Meyer Cremant de Loire Brut, $18: The term "fines bulles" translates as "fine bubbles" and is used to describe sparkling Loire wines like this one from Saumur's limestone-rich terroir. It's an enthralling, effervescent, dry sparkler that alerts the palate to fresh, lively citrus and honey notes. The blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir is a fruit fest of Loire loveliness. (I found a close-out bottle in New Hampshire for $10.
Healy Rosé, Walla Walla Valley, $28: French rosés are getting paler and paler. But Bledsoe Family Winery's version is a Monet-inspired salmon color with an orange tinge -- a dry, strawberry-keyed wine geared for thought-provoking table conversation. Plus, it's simply delicious. (Available at BledsoeFamilyWinery.com).
Domaine Bousquet Reserve Chardonnay, Mendoza, $15.99: For those who love Chardonnay, here's a fuller, rounded, concentrated version from the elevated slopes of Argentina's Andes Mountains (Tupungato Valley). It's citrusy enough to cut through creamy dishes, yet never loses its Charmin-soft texture.
Illahe Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $19.
Michael & David Petit Petit, Lodi, $12.99: A full-bodied, moderately acidic, blackberry fruit-loaded wine that ends slightly dry; pairs well with pork, lamb, veal and red sauce dishes. It's joyous, like the occasion, and won't hurt the pocketbook either.
Recanati Winery Upper Galilee Cabernet Sauvignon, $16.99: It's a certified, medium-bodied kosher wine with plenty of appeal. Winemaker Gil Shatsberg is a UCAL-Davis graduate and ignites the senses with smoky, spicy aromas around dark berry and plum flavors. Recanati also crafts a kosher Chardonnay and Merlot.