With Easter a few days away, everyone is probably worried about what to cook. Personally I'm more vested in which wines to serve, to match those foods. So I decided to find a trio of wines I could recommend. Thus I'm presenting a wine for each of three courses; Appetizers, Main Course and Dessert. First up is the Martin & Weyrich Moscato Allegro. This offering is based on the Muscat Canelli grape. The intent with this wine is to make a Moscato in the Italian style. Martin & Weyrich even used the bottle that is traditional for this in Italy. Alcohol is a modest 7.8%. 65,000 cases of this wine were produced and the suggested retail price is $12.
The nose of this wine is loaded with orchard fruits such as white peach and apricot. A touch of spice also makes its presence known. Throughout the palate the Moscato Allegro is incredibly refreshing. White peach notes continue and are joined by some lighter citrus notes. Honey notes emerge on the finish, which is zesty and full of lingering spice notes.
This Moscato will be perfect on Easter served as a welcome wine, or paired with just about any appetizer. It's light bodied with some pleasing sweetness. What I like best about this wine as the starter is that it won't bog anyone down with too much alcohol or sweetness. It has just enough, and that's balanced by excellent acidity. It's likely your Easter guests will be hesitant to move on to the next wine when they get a hold of this one.
The main course wine is from Two Angels, headquartered in Napa. The 2006 Divinity is produced from fruit sourced in High valley. This blend is 52% Syrah, 22% Grenache, 20% Mouvedre and 6% Petite Sirah. Grapes were sourced at Shannon Ridge Vineyards. This blend was aged in a combination of French (70%) and American (30%) oak barrels; 35% of them were new. 500 cases of this offering were produced and the suggested retail price is $25.
Blueberry, plum and raspberry aromas are underscored by touches of vanilla and nutmeg in the nose of this wine. The palate is absolutely loaded with rich, dark, explosive fruit notes that envelop the palate and scream out with unadulterated joy. Hints of white pepper, bright red cherry, and toasty oak emerge in the lengthy finish. This wine keeps beckoning you back to the glass for another sip. Divinity has a firm but yielding structure and excellent acidity.
The question is Ham or Lamb? That's what most people will serve on Easter in the United States. Either way Divinity has you covered and will make an excellent accompaniment. If you're Italian like me and your family insists on serving a heavy pasta dish after the antipasto and before the meat course, have no fear, Divinity has your back. This wine will match well with Ravioli, Lasagna or even Angel Hair with Marinara sauce. It's a delicious wine and will impress both the wine geeks in your family and the novices simply looking for a glass of red to pair with their food.
Dessert is important for any Holiday meal and Easter is no exception. My recommendation this holiday is to go with a Late Harvest Zinfandel. Specifically the 2006 from Clos LaChance. This wine is made from 100% Zinfandel. The fruit is sourced from a specific block of Zinfandel that is grown specifically for this wine. Alcohol is 16%, modest for a Late Harvest Zin. A mere 84 cases of this selection were produced and the suggested retail price is $26.00.
This Late Harvest Zinfandel has a bright nose. Cherries are prominent and are joined by hints of apple that underscore them. Raspberry, strawberry and a host of other berry fruit notes dominate the palate which is full flavored but a touch lighter in body than the average Late Harvest Zinfandel. The finish brings out some chocolate notes, black pepper, lingering light mineral and spice qualities. This Zin can be dessert on it's own or match it with chocolate or berry topped cheesecake. Either way it's a perfect, and slightly decadent way to end a celebratory holiday meal.