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Discover eto's wine recommendations for traditional Easter dishes


6 min read

Easter inspiration for foodies

While Easter is known for its brightly wrapped chocolate eggs, there are lots of other ways to indulge over the four-day weekend. We are taking a trip around the world to introduce you to lots of traditional Easter dishes from different countries. And with wine recommendations to go with every dish, there are lots of ideas for giving traditional Easter fare an all-round international twist. 

If you're hoping to impress family or friends with your cooking this year, why not try a Mexican fish taco or a Polish Zurek? We've got lots of food and wine suggestions for you, so read on to discover more. 

Red wine pairings with ham and lamb

Easter ham with fruity wines 

Because ham is preserved, it was the readily available meat in springtime before fridges were invented. And so ham became an Easter tradition, and has stayed that way for centuries. While its roots can be traced to Northern Europe, ham is now an Easter Sunday favourite in the US, and baked ham, along with a smoked sausage known as Kielbasa, is very popular in Poland. 

When pairing wine with ham, it's important to remember that however ham is preserved - dry cured, smoked or glazed - it has a sweetness, so typically goes best with lighter-bodied reds or whites with some acidity. For dry-cured ham, we recommend a smooth viognier, or a dry, Provence-style rosé. Smoked ham goes well with a deeper coloured rosé or more intense white wines like Chardonnay. If you prefer a red, choose something fruity and low in tannins. 

If your ham has a honey glaze, choose a wine that complements the sweetness. Valpolicella - an Amarone if it's a particular treat - or Ripasso with their dried fruit characteristics pair well. Also, primitivo from southern Italy. But we think the best pairing is Old Vine Zinfandel. At harvest the grapes in a single bunch can vary from just ripe to raisins, making for a rich and complex wine, and the dark fruits and subtle spices really lift the flavours of the ham. We suggest trying Ravenswood 2018 Old Vine Zinfandel

Torta Pasqualina with Italian whites 

Torta Pasqualina is a savoury pie traditionally eaten at Easter in Italy. Made with thin layers of dough, eggs, spinach (or chard), and ricotta, it was originally a speciality of Liguria in north-west Italy but is now popular all over the Italian peninsula. With a big Italian diaspora in Argentina, the dish has spread there too - known as Pascualina in the Spanish-speaking country. The dish also comes with a serving ritual - slicing through the pie to expose the egg in the middle - making it the perfect meal to share with a big group of friends. 

Torta Pasqualina pairs well with crisp wines full of flavour from northern Italy. While the region bordering France is the most famous for its red wines like Barolo and Barbaresco, the Italian whites go beautifully with the area's egg-rich, cheesy or creamy vegetarian dishes. We especially recommend a Gavi wine. The altitude of the region plus sea breezes from the Ligurian Sea prolongs Gavi's ripening season, which produces light-bodied, aromatic whites with high acidity. We suggest trying La Scolca Gavi dei Gavi - it might look pale, but it's packed with citrus flavours, nutty notes and a delicious taste of crisp apples. 

Torta Pasqualina with Italian whites

Lamb with red 

Lamb is a popular Easter choice in many different countries. In France, families often sit down to 'le gigot d'agneau pascal' - a leg of lamb roasted with rosemary and garlic. In Greece, you might be served lamb kleftiko or stifado, or for bigger parties, a spit-roasted whole lamb known as 'arni sti souvla'. In Ireland, roast lamb is famed for the super tangy mint sauce with accompanies it. 

Roasted lamb pairs beautifully with red wines. The The Côtes-du-Rhône 2020 from Domaine Charvin is a natural medium-bodied wine with spicy fruit flavours that complements lamb deliciously. Another great option is Xinomavro, which is indigenous to the Macedonia region in Greece. We recommend Dalamara Naoussa Xinomavro. It's fragrant with aromas of red berries and roses and has quite firm tannins that suit the richness of the lamb. 

Smörgåsbord with choice 

In Sweden and Denmark, a smörgåsbord (or "sandwich-table) is a popular choice for lots of different occasions, including gatherings over Easter. It's a buffet-style meal featuring a variety of hot and cold dishes including herring, cured meats, cheeses, meatballs and warm spiced red cabbage. 

With so many different types of food on offer, it's a good idea to open bottles of both white and red wine. You could opt for something familiar like Chardonnay and Merlot, or try a Gewurztraminer with a Pinot Noir, and perhaps even offer a dry rosé too (remember with eto, you can store any leftover wine so it won't go to waste). We wrote an article about the growing number of delicious new-world Pinot Noir wines being introduced. You can read it here and pick your favourite. 

Smörgåsbord with wine pairing

Eggs with zesty wines 

Chocolate Easter eggs are iconic the world over, but some countries like to celebrate Easter with savoury eggs too. Devilled eggs are typically served in the US, and in Poland, there's a popular soup called Zurek that's made from hard-boiled eggs alongside sausage and soured rye flour. In Greece, eggs are hard-boiled and dyed red, then eaten at a traditional feast on Easter Sunday. And as brunch continues to become more popular, eggs are a great staple to build some delicious meals from. 

The richness of egg yolks means these dishes pair well with wines with good acidity, while heavily oaked whites, or bold tannic reds, are better avoided as they can overwhelm the egg's flavour. For red wine, we recommend a Gamay (Beaujolais) like Wild Soul 2021 from Domaine Julien Sunier. Its bright red fruit flavours accent dishes with tomatoes or peppers like Shakshuka. Full of crunch berry fruit with a crisp mouth-watering acidity, this red is best served chilled. 

Chablis is a great white wine alternative for egg-based dishes. Its riper fruit character, enhanced body, and balanced acidity cuts through the richness of the eggs. Or if you pick a creamy dish like eggs benedict, Pinot Grigio is another good option. A 2022 Pinot Grigio from Reguta is light and refreshing with enough acidity to cut through the hollandaise sauce. 

And if we haven't quite swayed you away from chocolate eggs, we have some great dessert wine recommendations here

 White wine pairings for fish and eggs

Fish with wine 

Fish is a traditional Good Friday dish in many catholic countries as 'warm-blooded' meat isn't eaten on Fridays during Lent. In Mexico, you can enjoy papillote fish fillet in cilantro sauce or Baja fish tacos. 'Fanesca' is a traditional dish from Ecuador - a hearty soup made with grains, beans and salted cod. 

Fish is also popular in the UK at Easter. We love a whole baked turbot, or simple poached salmon with lemon and dill. Hot cross buns are another (delicious) symbol of Easter, and in Bermuda, they're served with a warm codfish cake made with salted cod, curry, and fresh parsley, and served with homemade tartar sauce. In Germany, fish cake with green sauce is popular on Good Friday. 

Fish tends to pair best with white wine. For fried fish, we recommend Gebrüder Nittnaus’s 2018 Sauvignon Blanc. It has bright lemon, grapefruit, and gooseberry flavours, and its high acidity and light-bodied style will cut through the oil. For poached or baked fish, try the Cave De Ribeauville 2018 Pinot Blanc. It's light and crisp with floral aroma and fresh acidity. 

Preserve wine with eto 

If your Easter hosting leaves with you with a half-finished bottle, you can preserve the leftover wine in eto until you're ready for another glass. With the wine decanted into eto, push on the neck to seal in the wine, then store eto in your fridge door. Your leftover wine will taste as good as new for up to two weeks. Shop eto