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Friday, April 5, 2013


Rhone wines

It wouldn’t be Easter Sunday without lamb for dinner, and for me, an ideal pairing with lamb is a good red from Rhone.  And I do love a good Rhone, be it red or white, so the wines chosen for Easter dinner were all from Rhone - a Viognier, a Gigondas, and a Saint-Joseph.

Appetizer - quiche
For the floral, exotic, aromatic Viognier, quite a beautiful wine, I created a fun appetizer that was very easy to make but the many flavors and textures coming together made it appear complex.  I opted for a quiche, which I made with brie, caramelized granny smith apples, fresh watercress, and almonds, with slices of crisp fresh granny smith, lemon zest, and a drizzle of local wildflower honey.  The pairing with the Viognier was perfect and that’s a dish and pairing I’d recreate in a heartbeat.

The lamb was slow roasted with herbs and vegetables (carrots, onions, and zucchini), with haricot vert and my sister’s red potato dish.  Earthy and so flavorful, it was a perfect combination of dishes for a satisfying Easter dinner, and the fullness and earthiness was reflected in the Gigondas and Saint-Joseph.  There’s something about Rhone reds that I find very appealing - I think it’s the balance of fruit, spice, and so much expression of earth that makes the wines so wonderful.  (And one other thing I love about Rhone - the prices still seem to be within reach, generally speaking, making them usually more affordable than their counterparts in Bordeaux and Burgundy.)

Dessert was something fun of course - I made molten chocolate cupcakes topped with melted chocolate and salted peanuts, with raspberry, and Mom made her homemade vanilla ice cream.  Needless to say, we were all quite full by the end of dinner!

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