Finally, we will celebrate Easter classically and traditionally, in gardens and courtyards, in villages and islands, with friends and relatives. We will put our lamb on the spit or in the oven and eat like kings. But what about the wine that we will drink? But of course, get paper and pencil and write down the best Easter wines!
On Holy Saturday you can enjoy the classic mageiritsa soup and drink a nice Assyrtiko with some oak aging like the epic and complex, Moschopolis 6. Since everything is done differently this year I suggest you try a vegetarian mageiritsa version with mushrooms and choose an earthy Chardonnay like Pouilly Fuisse Albert Bichot. A bonus side dish that is perfect for the season is risotto or pasta with mushrooms, asparagus, peas, lemon and cream cheese. The dish is packed with spring flavors so a crispy Sauvignon blanc like Astrolabe will fit like a glove. Bonus tip: Astrolabe can magically accompany mageiritsa too.
Easter Sunday has arrived. You must not forget the side dishes. Green, aromatic salads with fruits or boiled eggs ask for Malagouzia from Northern Greece, with vegetality and crisp acidity, such as Malagouzia Kitrvs. If you want to try something different, I would suggest you make an egg salad with boiled eggs, mayonnaise, spicy mustard, pickles, onions and herbs. Muscat of Spina by Karavitakis Vineyards is a crazy good pairing. Another original option is to make a salad with multicolored tomatoes, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, Mozzarella Burrata and arugula leaves. The best wine for this is obvious, Ousyra Rose. Delicious pies will not be missing from the table, so in the case of a rich cheese pie with feta, gruyere and kasseri cheese, you should prefer a white wine with sharp acidity and a rich body like Romeo + Juliet Estate Gofas. If you are more of a modernist and you are making a quiche with zucchini and manouri cheese, then Rimpatrio from Girlemis Winery will be a unique match.
Shortly before we move on to the main dish, the meaty appetizers like kontosouvli and kokoretsi will appear on the table. For kokoretsi you should choose a red wine with plenty of fruit, soft tannins and earthy character. I suggest you Manousakis Grenache. Now for the kontosouvli, let me first give you a tip to make it epic: marinate the meat (pork neck), for at least 12 hours, in a mixture of red wine, grated tomato, green pepper, garlic, olive oil and plenty of oregano. After you do this and cook it to perfection, put next to it an exuberant rosé from Xinomavro like Rose de Xinomavro by Thymiopoulos or a fine red with crisp acidity like Navitas Xinomavro.
Let's go to the burning issue now: roasted lamb! Ok, spit has its grace, but you can also make a mouthwatering lamb in the oven. Pick a lamb leg or shoulder or both and make "pockets" with your knife where you will put garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Make a paste of butter, Dijon mustard, pepper, lemon zest and plenty of herbs (I prefer Provencal mix) and generously spread it on the meat. Put it on top of plenty of fresh rosemary, salt and wrap it well with baking sheet and aluminum foil. Bake in the oven at 170-180 degrees for about 2 hours (approximately 1 hour for each kilo of meat). When the meat is done, uncover it, crack up the oven and let it take an even golden color. This is how they cook lamb in Rhone valley and you know that French are taking pretty seriously their food and their wine. I close my eyes and dream of a perfect bite of tender, succulent meat accompanied by the rich, velvety Cotes du Rhone Saint Cosme. Perfection.
If you want to follow a more classic recipe, you can make vinegrower’s lamb, either roasted over vine stocks, with lemon and garlic or rolled in vine leaves and filled with gruyere. If you have an aged Santorini in your cellar that you were looking for the right opportunity to open, you‘ve just found it. If not, bet on the sharp Robola Sarris or a special Orange like that of Anatolikos Vineyards. For the baby goat things are changing a bit. A favorite recipe is kleftiko, with peppers, potatoes and kefalotyri cheese, roasted in baking sheet papillotes. If you add a few sun-dried tomatoes then you are looking in the eye a top match with Xinomavro Old Vines Domaine Karanikas.
Every self-respecting feast ends with dessert accompanied by the appropriate wine! I suggest Late Harvest Papargyriou Winery for a fruit tart or a fragrant lemon pie. If you prefer more traditional desserts like walnut pie, ekmek or galaktoboureko, then go for Liastos from Romeiko Karavitakis Vineyards.
If you want more options check our Easter Wine Selection here: Best Easter Wines