Sipping wine - the best tradition
Easter and Passover are close to our hearts as times of reflection, celebration, and feasting around the table with friends and family. While special traditions vary from home to home, being together for dinner is something we can all look forward to. To help you enjoy these meaningful occasions, we've created a guide to wine pairings for everything from glazed Easter ham to roasted lamb at Seder. We also offer some fun suggestions for gift ideas and tips on upcycling your leftover wine bottles.
Whatever your family celebrates this spring, we hope you’ll enjoy our take on the elements of a perfect celebration.
Traditional Easter and Passover meals
A full Easter meal usually consists of glazed ham, lamb with rosemary, scalloped potatoes, and fresh spring vegetables. The Passover dinner, also known as Seder, often features lamb, roasted egg, a paste of fruit and nuts, matzo ball soup, and other traditional Jewish favorites.
With your food menu set, what wine should be paired with such delicious and varied spreads? We’ve covered all the possibilities so wine drinkers can enjoy a little bit of everything.
Wine pairing with ham
The way your ham is prepared will make a difference in what you choose to pair it with. While you can choose a white or red wine, or even rosé, your go-to wine might not be the best choice if it conflicts with the ham’s glaze or sauce.
For salty ham, try a wine with higher acidity like a dry Riesling or Pinot Gris. The acidity will cut through the salt and fattiness of the ham, giving you a balanced but robust taste. If you’re preparing your ham with a sweet glaze, a slightly sweeter wine like Viognier with its soft, fruity flavor will complement the glaze nicely. For a spiced or smoked ham, you can’t go wrong with a red wine like Tempranillo or Pinot Noir.
Wine pairing with lamb
Red wine is a common choice for pairing with red meat, including lamb. There is a range of flavorful options depending on the type of lamb and how it’s cooked.
A dry Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah pairs well with roast lamb served medium or well done, whereas a slow-roasted shoulder of lamb would pair best with a medium-bodied Grenache. While white wine is rarely paired with lamb due to its lower acidity than red wine, a strong, flavorful white wine like Chardonnay can make a wonderful pairing. Even rosé Champagne is a delicious choice for young lamb, so the wine you choose is really up to your palate and main course.
Wine pairing with potatoes and spring vegetables
If your meal is vegetarian or less meat-centric, scalloped potatoes and spring vegetables are sure to be on the table. The unoaked Italian white Verdicchio is the top choice for pairing with roasted vegetables like carrots and beets. A dry rosé or full-bodied Malbec pairs best with savory scalloped or mashed potatoes.
No matter what your meal contains, you might as well have enough wine for it all. Try our Winemaker’s Selects flight for a little bit of everything.
Kosher wines for Passover
Wine for Passover is almost always kosher, which is Yiddish for “proper” or “fit.” While the most famous kosher wine producers are Manischewitz and Kedem, you can find other kosher wines by checking the label for a “U” in a circle for kosher and a “U” and “P” for kosher Passover wine.
Wines for Spring
Since Easter and Passover are the official holidays of spring, it’s a great time to start adding to your wine collection for warmer weather. Light-bodied white wines will take the place of robust reds, with rosé making an appearance for picnics and afternoons on the patio. If it’s still a bit nippy outside, light red wines like Pinot Noir can be a good transition glass. Once the sun comes out, a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Prosecco make great additions to spring salads and seasonal fruits.
Don’t forget to choose the right wine glass for the ultimate wine-sipping experience, and be sure to follow the five rules of wine tasting: See. Swirl. Smell. Sip. Savor. When all five senses are engaged, you’ve reached the mountaintop of the wine tasting. Relax and enjoy the view!
Gift & Craft Ideas
Passover Wine Gift Ideas
Gift giving during Passover and Easter might not be as common as other holidays, but from Easter baskets to Passover offerings, there are plenty of traditions that can involve gifts.
For Passover, remember to bring something kosher if it’s edible or potable. Food and drink cannot be prepared with utensils that have also touched leavened foods (unless deemed appropriate for Passover), so if you want to be on the safe side, go with store-bought selections. Labels will say “Kosher for Passover” or have the “P” symbol displayed on the packaging. Popular Passover gifts include flowers, kosher wine, kosher non-dairy candy, and fresh fruit. You can even make a Passover basket of assorted treats and wine!
Easter Wine Gift Ideas
For Easter, you can’t go wrong with a classic Easter basket that kids and adults will love. Most baskets include chocolate bunnies, Peeps, jelly beans, and dessert eggs like Cadbury’s or Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs.
Although kids’ baskets might also include things like stickers and small toys, it’s the adult Easter basket where the real fun begins. Hide some mini wine bottles in plastic eggs for a surprise they’re sure to appreciate! You can also turn it into a full-fledged adult Easter egg hunt (just make sure that the wine-filled surprises don’t get lost or sit out in the sun too long)!
If you want to add a theme to your adult Easter basket, popular ideas usually include sports, makeup, gardening, and self-care.
Upcycled Wine Bottle Easter and Passover Crafts
Using upcycled wine bottles is a great way to add something different to Easter and Passover crafts, and you can also use them for something creative after the celebrations have passed.
Along with dyed eggs, bunny ears, spring wreaths, and other Easter crafts, you can implement empty wine bottles into your Easter crafting, too.
For an easily themed home decor centerpiece, upcycle wine bottles into centerpieces filled with jelly beans and other small candies. It might not be so much a “craft” but more of a fun way to prolong an Easter theme after Easter Sunday.
With some paint and pipe cleaner bunny ears, it’s easy to craft a wine bottle into a cute Easter bunny. And with mini bottles, you can even make little chicks or baby bunnies, too. Once your craft is complete, you can save it for Easter decor next year. We love an easy and sustainable craft!
Looking for Passover crafts? Take an empty wine bottle and fill it with small bells or bottle caps. Shake it slightly and hear the sounds of Miriam’s tambourine singing at your Seder! And if you make a craft with sand or rice to represent the desert or Red Sea parting, save some in a bottle to keep the tradition in mind all year long.
Upcycling Wine Bottles
While your options for holiday-specific crafts with wine bottles may be limited, the bottles can still be upcycled and put to good use in so many other ways.
The easiest way to upcycle a wine bottle is to repurpose it as a vase for flowers. While you’ll only be able to fit a couple of long-stemmed flowers into one bottle, placing a few bottles of different sizes with a variety of flowers can make for a beautiful centerpiece. Don’t want to keep up with fresh flowers? Use painted tree branches or antlers for a fall or boho style.
To upcycle wine bottles into storage or a gift, use the empty bottles to create your own hot sauce or cocktail mixer. A simple hot sauce can be made by filling the bottle with vinegar or oil and adding long peppers slit lengthwise. Make up a creative name for your new homemade hot sauce, and there you go!
For another easy win, use your wine bottle to store a homemade Bloody Mary or Mimosa mixer. Almost any cocktail mix will work, and you’re set for your next brunch or dinner party.
If you’re looking for an upcycling project on the wilder side, shake up a bottle of metallic spray paint and cover the glass bottle with gold, silver, or glitter. Other embellishments can be added to make a fun party piece for birthdays, New Year’s, or any occasion that calls for sparkle!
If you’re a little more down-to-earth and steady with tools, a carefully crafted wine bottle bird feeder can be made from an empty wine bottle and wood scraps. Just make sure you carefully secure the bottle into the wooden panels. After it’s secured, fill it with seed, and enjoy delighting your backyard’s feathered friends!
However you celebrate this Easter and Passover season, we hope it’s with friends and family enjoying traditions, especially when the new tradition is sipping wine!