Picking the perfect table wine for Easter can be a little tricky—what’s fleshy enough to be interesting next to plain foods like mashed potatoes but perky and acidic enough to complement rich foods like ham? But the answer is pretty simple: Pinot gris.
Pinot gris is a close cousin to the dark and utterly popular pinot noir, and just as pinot noir is the easiest red wine to pair with a wide variety of foods—from fish to venison—pinot gris is the best white to serve with a bountiful table. A lot of people only know pinot gris in its very thin and crisp version, Italian pinot grigio, but it’s worth getting to know the more robust versions of the wine too. Here are my top three:
Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio 2011, $15
Melony and rich, this is a complexly nuanced wine with lemon and mineral notes, which goes beautifully with food but also stands prettily alone.
Wine by Joe Pinot Gris 2011, $14
Ripe and fresh, with notes of pear ending in a refreshing tanginess, this fleshy wine is especially pretty alongside rich ham.
King Estate Acrobat Oregon Pinot Gris, 2011, $12
Well-balanced and multi-dimensional, with notes of grapefruit and honeydew melon blending into a rather musical and harmonious whole, this entry-level wine from one of America’s great pinot gris growers offers a lot of bang for not too much buck.