Ask the wine expert: Wine for Easter


Easter, would you believe, is just around the corner. Whether you are planning time with the family or are throwing a party for friends here’s my guide to what you should be drinking with your Easter fare, says Jarrold wine expert and Master of Wine Nick Adams.

Apart from Easter’s important religious references and heritage, it is also a time when we say goodbye to winter and begin to look forward to longer, brighter, warmer days. There is a significant mood change as we gear up for spring and summer. Food produce also changes – we finish classics like the mussel season but enjoy new, young vegetables (most famously the asparagus season and the arrival of new potatoes such as Jersey Royals). Probably most symbolically of all, lamb features highly and is often the centre piece of meals on Easter Sunday. In addition, many people enjoy fish specifically on Easter Friday.

There is less fanfare than with Christmas, but is no less an important time to meet up with friends and family and share good food and wine together. With that in mind I have picked up on a few seasonal and personal wine highlights that will complement your Easter feast. 

For Good Friday

I am going to be traditional and think fish for Easter Friday to kick the whole weekend off. This time of the year sees certain sea food at their seasonal best – such as crab and flat fish like sole, plaice, halibut and brill, and for a treat turbot. These all work well with white wine (no surprise), although a dry Rosé can also pair nicely. Crab really needs something crisp, dry, and mouth-watering – whether served simply dressed with a (new potato and leaf) salad, or partnered with some gentle chilli and coriander in a pasta. Plainly cooked flat fish tends to demand the same partner, but if you are indulging in a richer, buttery sauce (classically Hollandaise) then go for a fuller-bodied Chardonnay to accompany. And for the ubiquitous salmon then I would opt for a Rosé – or if smoked as a starter - a spicier white.

The crowd pleaser

Picpoul de Pinet l’Ormarine Duc de Morny – Roussillon France



For something different

Vinho Verde Casa de Vila Nova – Portugal

Nick's tasting notes: Racy, ultra-crisp and refreshing, especially with crab


Treat yourself

Chablis l’er Cru Beauroy Domaine de la Motte – Burgundy France 

Nick's tasting notes: Perfect with classic flat fish and butter sauce.


For Easter Saturday

On Saturday I would be tempted to go vegetarian – if the weather has been kind new season asparagus is a must (if not there is still the very good Peruvian and Mexican option). Asparagus works really well with two varieties in particular – Sauvignon Blanc and maybe more surprisingly Viognier, especially if steamed and enjoyed with melted butter and black pepper. As with flat fish if you serve with the classic Hollandaise then consider a Chardonnay as well as a Viognier. I also adore risotto, and especially with mushrooms. At this time of the year you can still find a good selection of wild mushrooms – even Chanterelles and Morels, as well as Shitake and Oysters. And there are plenty of house trained varieties with real flavour such as Portobellos and Chestnut. This dish works very well with a full-bodied rosé or lighter red – especially Pinot Noir. And don’t forget to visit the Jarrold Deli cheese counter to top it off with hearty shavings of savoury Parmignano!

The crowd pleaser

Marsanne/Viognier l’Oustalet Famille Perrin – Rhône France

Nick's tasting notes: Works well with asparagus and is also meaty enough for the risotto



For something different

Lune d’Argent Bordeaux Blanc Domaine du Chevalier – Bordeaux France

Nick's tasting notes: Classically styled barrel fermented blend of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes with plenty of texture and body – would work well with either asparagus and butter sauce as well as risotto if you prefer white.


Treat yourself

Pommard Les Perrières Sébastien Magnien - Burgundy France

Nick's tasting notes: A classic red Burgundy from rising star Domaine – perfect expression of Pinot Noir.


For Easter Sunday

Onto Easter Sunday and some new season lamb. Ideally a rack or leg, oven roasted and served with confit slow roasted tomatoes, root vegetables and thyme (or rosemary) – and served if available with new season Jersey Royals. Don’t forget to rest the lamb and deglaze the pan with red wine and some stock (and more herbs) to make a great tasting jus to go with it. This dish cries out for one of two classic red styles – a Pinot Noir or oak aged Rioja.

The crowd pleaser

Pinot Noir Tierra Alta - Central Valley Chile


For something different

Primitivo di Manduria Burnilde de Menzione – Puglia Italy 

Nick's tasting notes: Lovely “sweet” textured ripe and juicy – a southern Italian classic


Treat yourself

Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Reserva – Rioja Spain


For Easter Monday

On the last day of Easter (Monday) I love a cold spread with plenty of options for all tastes. Go for a pork pie and some classic hams from the Jarrold Deli counter – English and the ultra-savoury Spanish Serrano and Iberico. Maybe top up the smoked salmon! Serve with a big mixed leaf salad and dressing along with a good mix of crudités – such as blanched and/or raw baby carrots, green beans, celery, tomatoes, shallot, and radish. Finish with a classic dip – my favourite is aioli – mayonnaise with a lively garlic kick. And, don’t forget plenty of bread (not least for the cheeseboard) and more Jersey Royals if available (or oven roasted chips). The good news is that this sort of smörgåsbord allows for a liberal selection of wine styles – including some bubbles, but I would also go for a mix of dry whites, maybe another rosé and light reds 

The crowd pleaser

Mas Macia Cava Brut Catalonia Spain 

Nick's tasting notes: Prosecco maybe the UK No. 1 sparkler but Cava remains a very good value for money sparkler


For something different

Grüner Veltliner Sepp Moser – Kremstal Austria 

Nick's tasting notes: Zesty and gently spicy


Treat yourself

Gevrey Chambertin Domaine Maume – Burgundy France 

Nick's tasting notes: One of Burgundy’s most revered village and from a top producer


All of the wine featured is available instore from The Deli, lower ground

Images are for illustrative purposes only




Jarrold resident wine expert Nick Adams is one of only 369 Masters of Wine in the world and has over 30 years experience in the world of wine. He has visited many of the world's famous wine regions and has worked with some of the most renowned names and producers. Nick aims to give you a greater level of service and information on the wines in our Deli and Wine Bar.

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