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Wines to pair with holiday meals

Cabernet sauvignon, such as Darms Lane 2007 Cabernet

Cabernet sauvignon, such as Darms Lane 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, is a full-bodied red that pairs well with lamb. (Nov. 7, 2010) Credit: AP

Traditionally, Easter dinner centers around either lamb or ham, with an egg dish tucked in somewhere. And there's always a booster for roast beef.

Lamb calls for a full-bodied red wine: cabernet sauvignon, a red Bordeaux or Rhône, maybe a Barolo, Amarone, tempranillo or malbec. And for a medium-bodied option, consider Barbera, Chianti or merlot.

A fruity Beaujolais or pinot noir is good red company for ham. Whites, from riesling and Chablis to pinot grigio and gewürztraminer, are naturals. Dry rosé and vin gris, made from pinot noir, add to the repertoire.To accompany a quiche, consider Beaujolais again; or either riesling or pinot blanc. Even raise a glass of Champagne with it. Sparkling wines are a satisfying match with deviled eggs.

That rib roast and the prime rib will be complemented by red Bordeaux, cabernet sauvignon, a hearty Chianti, plus some pinot noir or Barbera.

Specifically, the 2010 Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico ($20) and the producer's 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva ($29) are reliable, satisfying selections with the lamb or the beef. So are the 2011 Trivento Reserve Malbec ($11) and 2011 Trivento Amado Sur malbec blend ($15), well-priced Argentine wines. And the 2008 Franciscan Estate Magnificat ($50) is a rich red blend, heady with blackberry, plum and dark cherry.

Celebratory white wines include German riesling from Selbach-Oster and Dr. Loosen; and Alsatian riesling from Zind-Humbrecht and Léon Beyer. For fine Beaujolais: Georges Duboeuf, Michel Tete, Potel-Aviron.