A guide to Easter food and wine pairings
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Staying at home over the Easter long weekend means that you have the chance to treat yourself to the ultimate food and wine pairing, with classic Easter dishes.
From sweet to savoury, we have some great options and even better wines to pair with them.
“Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life's most civilized pleasures”. These are the words of the late Michael Broadbent MW, legendary wine critic, writer, author, and auctioneer – a towering figure in the international world of wine.
However, these could so easily be the words of Annatjie Melck, foodie legend and chatelaine of Muratie, where the culture of food and wine is an intrinsic ingredient of the Melck family’s history, and life at Muratie today.
If you're wondering what wines you should buy for Easter weekend, Melck shares below a quick guide to what she thinks are the best Easter wine pairings.
Pickled fish paired with Muratie Laurens Campher 2019
Easter time is pickled fish time, especially in the Cape, where this delicious traditional dish has been eaten on Good Friday for hundreds of years. Melck recommends that you enjoy her pickled fish with a glass of Muratie Laurens Campher 2019, an elegant, yet intense white blend with gorgeous stone fruit flavours of peach and apricot, hints of citrus, and fresh acidity all wrapped in creamy oak.
For the fish
1kg Yellow Tail or Cape Salmon (Geelbek)
45ml lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
15ml sunflower oil
For the sauce
30ml Sunflower oil
2 garlic cloves crushed
1kg onions - cut into thick rings
15ml curry powder
500ml vinegar - 250 ml white and 250ml brown vinegar
1x 420g canned apricots
2-3 slices fresh ginger
4 lemon leaves or bay leaves
2,5ml ground cumin
2,5ml ground fennel
6 whole allspice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
For the fish
Preheat oven to 200˚C
Fleck the fish, cut into portions and dry thoroughly with a kitchen paper towel.
Pour the lemon juice over the fish and season to taste.
Heat the oil in an oven pan.
Place the fish portions in the pan and bake for about 15 minutes until nearly done.
Remove from the oven and keep warm in the warming drawer.
For the sauce
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and sear the onions and garlic until the onions have become transparent.
Add the curry and turmeric and fry for one minute.
Add the rest of the ingredients, heat to boiling point, and cook for three minutes.
Pour the warm sauce over the warm fish in the oven pan.
Let the dish cool down thoroughly (do not cover the dish).
Keep the pickled fish refrigerated for three days before serving to allow the fish to absorb all the flavours.
Serve the pickled fish with salad, and a hard-boiled egg.
Salmon with tarragon and cream juice paired with Muratie Isabella chardonnay 2019
Baked in the oven, pan-fried, grilled, or smoked - no matter how it is prepared, salmon is always delicious. There’s only one thing that can make the best salmon dishes to the next level: a glass of wine.
2 Salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp sunflower oil
½ small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
4 tbsp thick cream
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 160˚C.
Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a heavy-duty pan until hot and cook the salmon (skin side up) for three minutes until light. brown, then turn it over and cook on the skin side for two minutes.
Place the salmon in an oven-safe dish and sprinkle the onion and the tarragon over the fish.
Add the cream to the dish and bake for 10-12 minutes until the salmon is cooked.
Sprinkle parsley over the dish and serve with boiled baby potatoes.
Marrow bones on toast paired with Muratie Mr May Grenache 2018
Grenache, the dominant grape in the famous red blends of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Southern Rhône, is one of the most versatile wines to pair with food due to its spiciness, pure red fruits, and fresh attributes.
You need the middle sections of the long bones (ask your butcher for 5cm lengths).
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 230˚C.
Rinse the marrow bones thoroughly under cold water.
Dry thoroughly with a kitchen paper towel.
Cover an oven pan with foil and place marrow bones on top.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the bones and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Marrow bones are cooked when the marrow starts pulling away from the bone and the clear fat starts to drip from the bone.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool down slightly.
Use a knife to remove the marrow from the bones and spread it on toast.
Add a little salt according to your liking and serve immediately.
Adding to Melck’s guide, I would also suggest the below.
Scrambled eggs paired with champagne
What else are you going to drink for Easter brunch? Eggs and bubbles are the way to go.
Salmon paired with chardonnay
Depends how you cook it but salmon pretty well always works with chardonnay, but if it’s smoked salmon try sauvignon blanc.