Column: WINEderlust: Wine for an Easter menu

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By Elizabeth Morse

The promise of spring is peeking through now and then. It’s not nice weather, but you can celebrate this transition with some lighter wines as we ramp up to patio season.  The bottles I’m going to suggest are also great choices with traditional Easter meals.

Serving salad that features asparagus is a great first course for a spring meal. I’m planning to make one that has fresh goat cheese and toasted walnuts. Domaine Moreux “Cuvée des Lys” Sancerre Rosé is my suggestion.  It is made from Pinot Noir grapes and reminds me of fragrant strawberries, cherries and apricots. The acidity is bright and could be paired successfully with a strawberry and spinach salad, too ($23).

Next up: salty-sweet baked ham. I like to glaze ham, which would make pairing a big red wine, well, not good. Those flavors tend to clash. I’m opting for a light, yet flavorful and zesty Lambrusco. I’m not talking about the super-sweet cheap stuff. Try this tasty sparkler: Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce ($18ish). Great for family gatherings since it’s low in alcohol. An excellent choice with a great piece of Parmesan cheese, too.

The finale of my Easter meal is a bakery-style white cake with vanilla frosting. It’s often decorated with hundreds of jelly beans and maybe a Peep or two. You can go two directions here. If you really like bubbles, go with Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti. This is a terribly pretty and fragrant wine from Italy that is a bit sweet, $12 for a 375-millilitre bottle. If it’s a chilly day and you’re looking for something more serious, opt for Bodegas Dios Baco Elite Amontillado Sherry. This fortified wine is not Mama’s cooking Sherry. It tastes like butterscotch and hazelnuts with a dry finish ($20). Cheers!

Elizabeth Morse, an owner of Corner Wine Bar in Broad Ripple, grew up in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood and is a graduate of both Broad Ripple High School and Indiana University. She is a Hoosier chef, restaurateur, food writer, wine guru and Hamilton County Master Gardener who believes in supporting all things local. Morse has been a resident of Hamilton County for more than a decade. Have a wine or entertaining question? Shoot an email to Elizabeth@Schlepicurean.com.

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