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Easter wines that enhance ham or lamb

The main dish on the Easter table often

The main dish on the Easter table often is either ham or lamb, and there are plenty of wines that enhance them. Photo Credit: iStock

The main dish on the Easter table often is either ham or lamb. There are plenty of wines that enhance them.

Ham pairs well with whites, reds, rosés, even sparkling wines. The ideal white: subtle riesling, both dry and off-dry. It balances any saltiness, and works with slightly sweet food as well as spiced fare. Chablis and unoaked chardonnays, clean and refreshing, also are pleasing with a baked ham.

The reds that go with ham include Beaujolais, sangiovese, light pinot noir, a youthful zinfandel and Valpolicella. American and French rosés do, too. And sparkling, fruity Lambrusco is a playful, easygoing match.

Lamb calls for serious red wine, especially cabernet sauvignon, from California or Bordeaux. These full-bodied wines with spines balance, cut and round out the richness of the meat. You can take an Italian turn with versatile Barbera and Chianti. For a deeper red from Italy, try Barbaresco or Amarone. There's always a good reason to uncork a Dolcetto d'Alba, a fallback choice for so many dishes.

Of course, you don't have to stick with wine. Many lagers have been poured when ham makes the meal; brown ales, when lamb does. Apple cider, hard or not, is pretty good with ham. So are soft drinks, from ginger ale to a dry cola.

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