Drinking Living

The perfect Easter wines to pair with food, selected by Fiona Beckett

22nd March 2018

Whether guzzling chocolate eggs or feasting on sumptuous roast lamb, food and wine writer Fiona Beckett has the perfect selection of Easter wines to match.

Just as the sort of food we fancy changes at this time of year and so the wines we want to drink with them also moves on. We instinctively crave lighter, brighter flavours in both (in theory), so it’s bye bye rich porty reds like amarone and hello fresh crisp whites, rosés and light juicy reds.

Who knows what Easter will bring weather-wise though? We could be sunning ourselves on the patio or huddling round the fire so I’d keep your options open.

Here are the pairings I’d suggest with some seasonal favourites:

Roast lamb and wild garlic

Roast lamb: paired with fresh and fragrant wild garlic oil, it’s the best of spring on a plate. Photo: Natale Towell.

Wild garlic’s rampant right now and adds a punchy flavour to any ingredient you put with it – in fact it’s more important a factor than the lamb in this pairing. I’d choose a rustic red like a Côtes du Rhône or other grenache, syrah and mourvedre blend (often known as GSM in the wine trade!). Try our roast lamb and wild garlic recipe.

Roast chicken

Try Thomasina Miers’ ultimate roast chicken with a white or red.

Who doesn’t love a simple, homely roast chicken and the good news is that you can equally happily drink a white or a red wine with it. If you’re going for a white I’d pick a smooth white burgundy or other chardonnay, for a red I’d fancy a fruity red burgundy or other pinot noir. Try Thomasina Miers’ Ultimate Roast Chicken recipe.


The most delicious Italian way of cooking pork that I personally reckon goes better with a white wine than a red. You could keep the Italian vibe going with an Italian white like a pinot grigio or verdicchio or, if you’re a red wine only sort of a guy (or gal) go for a Tuscan red. Any cold leftovers will go really well with a rosé too. Try our Porchetta recipe.

Fish pie

Pair a sustainably-caught fie pie with a range of whites. Photo: Natale Towell.

Fish pie is all about the gorgeous creamy sauce so again that tends to suggest chardonnay which loves cream and butter. If you want more of a contrast try a sauvignon blanc like a Pouilly Fumé which will act like a squeeze of lemon or a crisp English white like a Bacchus. Try our Perfect Fish Pie recipe.

Beetroot risotto

Go for Beaujolais with beetroot. Photo: Natale Towell.

Beetroot has a really sweet earthy flavour so I’d go for a fruity red like a pinot noir or Beaujolais rather than a white. Try our Beetroot Risotto recipe.

Hot cross buns

Tea trumps wine when it comes to freshly toasted hot cross buns. Photo: Natale Towell.

Fan though I am of wine I really don’t think you can beat a good cuppa with a hot cross bun. Personally I’d go for Earl Grey but you could go for Rooibosch if you prefer to avoid caffeine.

Rhubarb frangipane

Celebrating the best of British rhubarb. Photo: Natale Towell.

The perfect recipe to complement a luscious dessert wine like a Sauternes or similar sweet wine from the Bordeaux region. Late harvest riesling would also work well. Try our Rhubarb Frangipane recipe.

Easter chocolate

One egg or two? Photo: Natale Towell.

So what do you drink with the kids’ leftover Easter eggs which tend to be milky and super-sweet? A glass of Prosecco would go down nicely when you finally get to put your feet up as would – you may not believe it! – a pale cream sherry. Trust me!

Fiona Beckett is drinks columnist for The Guardian and restaurant critic for Decanter magazine. Visit her website for expert food and wine pairing tips at matchingfoodandwine.com.

Shop the full range of Easter wines, seasonal recipes and chocolate treats. 

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Find out why ‘new season’ spring lamb is a myth, swot up on 10 common wine myths and meet award-winning sustainable English winemakers.

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