8 Traditional Easter Wine Pairings

Easter is nearly upon us once again and with it a whole new set of wine pairing conundrums. It seems that no sooner has the dust settled on a busy Christmas and New Year period, that we are again organising our Easter festivities for 2018 and deciding on our menus, wine lists and most importantly; just how we are going to pair these for our guests.

We’ve covered all sorts of topics at Octavian so far this year, from how to use wine lingo to the very best wine bars you can find around London, but today we are going to give you some much needed assistance when it comes to Easter wine pairing. Picking the perfect wines for Easter dinner can make or break your event or family get together, so read on to find out how you can absolutely nail it this year.

Wine pairings for festive occasions

Octavian’s 8 Traditional Wine Pairings for 2018


Dish: Rack of Lamb & Trimmings

Nothing says Easter like a classic leg of lamb served with all the traditional bits and pieces. Or you could go for some peas, beans and spring potatoes for something a little bit more seasonal.

Octavian’s Perfect Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon

Due to the richness you get with a good quality leg of lamb, it is the perfect foil for a tannin-rich cabernet sauvignon. This wine is also ideal whatever the weather, quaffable on a hot day but also nice and warming if we are set for a customary chilly British Easter weekend.


Dish: Seasonal Easter Vegetables

If you are serving a vegetable based dish and have some fresh fayre on offer such as beetroot, roasted carrots or shallots, then we have the ideal pairing for you below. These can be served as a snack or appetiser or of course, as an accompaniment to a main meal.

Octavian Perfect Pairing: Clean & Crisp White

Vegetable based dishes tend to go better with a white wine and we would recommend something fresh and crisp. This will come down to your taste but we are particularly enjoying the zestiness of an Albarino at the moment, or perhaps some of the great wines coming out of Slovenia at the moment. 


Dish: Roast Chicken With Trimmings

As predictable as it may be, roast chicken will be served across the UK over the Easter weekend. From ease of purchase and preparation to the fact its darn tasty and a great way to feed a large group, it’s a classic that will be a go to for family gatherings and more elegant affairs.

Octavian Perfect Pairing: Chardonnay

The classic white meat calls for a classic white wine and although Chardonnay has a bad reputation for some, there are some splendid ones on the market these days and they would be just perfect as a Easter wine pairing with your chicken based show stopper.


Dish: Easter Glazed Ham

If chicken and lamb aren’t really the vibe you’re going for, why not go for a good ham hock or similar? You can serve this with the same trimmings as your other meats and as you are about to discover, there are some excellent wines that will help to complement this choice beautifully.                       

Octavian Perfect Pairing: Pinot Noir

Some regard ham to be a cross between red and white meat and our Easter wine pairing for this dish is quite similar. A good Pinot Noir is as fresh as a crisp, white wine but is of course unmistakably red, making it the perfect match for a glazed ham. Low tannin but high acid, pick a good one and this new world top performer should be perfect when looking for the best Easter drinks.


Dish: Jazzy Easter Salads

Salad may not be your usual Easter go-to, but if you are serving guests who don’t eat meat or perhaps you are celebrating in warmer climes and want something fresher and lighter, salad could be the perfect choice. Salads actually suit a wide range of fine wines, as the Mediterranean demonstrates so well.

Octavian Perfect Pairing: Go Greek

If you have been to the south of Italy or Greece at this time of year then you will no doubt have sampled some of their Easter wines. Assyrtiko is a little known grape but its combination with an array of light summery foods is to die for, so if you can find some for your Easter drinks or dinner party then it’s strongly recommended.


Dish: Carb Combinations

If you are serving dishes with a strong carbohydrate presence, namely potatoes, then there are some wines that will go with them superbly. Admittedly, this isn’t the most glamorous of wine pairings but you may find the results somewhat of a surprise.

Octavian Perfect Pairing: Dry Red Or Rose

If your Easter menu is going to contained mashed potato, potato salad or perhaps something lightly fried then why not opt for a dry rose wine to match up perfectly? Alternatively, you could go for a Malbec, as we have all enjoyed this alongside a steak and our choice of spuds.


Dish: Fresh Minted Peas

Nothing says the emergence of spring more than peas. Quintessentially British and a very popular spring food choice, these can be served as part of any of the main meals in this guide or of course as a nice appetizer. Not convinced? Our wine pairing for this choice may change your mind.

Octavian Perfect Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc

There was no way we were going to bring you a guide to Easter wine pairings without including Sauvignon Blanc and this goes beautifully with peas as long as they are fresh, hot and suitably minted. Go for a great New Zealand grape and this could the highlight of your Easter celebrations.


Dish: Chocolate Indulgence

Similarly, there was no way of us avoiding chocolate in a list of Easter wine pairings. Whether you will be pinching some of the kids’, having an egg hunt or just indulging in your favourite bar of chocolate, there are some stunning pairings to be enjoyed.

Octavian Perfect Pairing: Something French, and Red

We think that anything of good quality and red goes beautifully with chocolate but if you really want to push the boundaries of richness, go for Byrrh Grand Quininha. This is strictly speaking an Aperitif and is just on the cusp of being a Port. Together with chocolate though, this one never fails to hit the spot.