Many people prefer a cocktail first, to start the Holiday tradition, but, since this is a wine column for Easter, we will focus only on the star of the day, the grape!
Of course, my first choice, when greeting friends with appetizers is always a sparkling wine, either Champagne, Cava or Prosecco. Depending on what is being served, various white wines work well with appetizers. A Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet or Sancerre always goes well with a shrimp cocktail. For clams or oysters, try a Chablis.
Guwurztraminer goes well with asparagus.
Pinot Grigio goes with everything.
These wines I suggest for your appetizer/first course:
Cava Naveran $17
Mionetto Prosecco $14
2011 Heitz Sauvignon Blanc $18
Bottles range from $8 to $38.
I normally spend $15 or under.
Here are a few of my favorites:
2011 St.Urbans Hof Riesling Q.B.A. $15
2006 Jim Barry Riesling ‘Lodge Hill’ $18
2010 Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling ‘Eroica’ $19
2009 Domaine de Triennes Viognier ‘Saint-Fleur’ $16
2009 Yangarra Viognier $19
2010 Chateau d’Aqueria Tavel Rose $18
2007 Bear Boat Russian River Pinot Noir $18
2008 Wild Rock ‘Cupid’s Arrow’Pinot Noir $17
Typically a Merlot based wine once satisfied a leg of lamb. Today there are many choices.
2011 Vielle Fermes Cotes du Lubern Blanc $8
2008 Montirius Vacqueyras ‘Mineral’ Blanc $24
2009 Richard Leroy Anjou ‘Les Rouliers’ $28
2010 La Vielle Ferme Rouges Cotes-du-Ventoux $8
2011 Domaine d’Andezon Cotes-du-Rhone $13
2009 VDP Domaine du Pegau Plan Pegau Lot $17
For desert, we can go all directions.