Alright, everyone, it’s time to spring into action and hop into Easter traditions! Easter is meaningful and traditionalized worldwide. It is how we celebrate and carry on our traditions that make our Easter a unique and memorable experience. Before we hop into all the fun, let’s bounce back to how the name ‘Easter’ came about.
According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, “The naming of the celebration as “Easter” seems to go back to the name of a pre-Christian goddess in England, Eostre…
According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, “The naming of the celebration as “Easter” seems to go back to the name of a pre-Christian goddess in England, Eostre, who was celebrated at beginning of spring. The only reference to this goddess comes from the writings of the Venerable Bede, a British monk who lived in the late seventh and early eighth century.” – Hans J. Hillerbrand.
Of course, Easter has a lot of religious ties to it, but what I find interesting is how the Easter bunny and the easter eggs came about.
Of course, Easter has a lot of religious ties to it, but what I find interesting is how the Easter bunny and the easter eggs came about. It’s almost like an unsolved mystery. According to some sources, “the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.” – History.com FUN FACT: In other countries, bunnies are not the animal traditionally associated with Easter. Some countries associate Foxes or cuckoo birds with the holiday.
As a child, Easter for me was super exciting. I remember waking up and walking into the living room to see that the Easter Bunny had arrived. I would empty my Easter basket of all the puffy peeps, colorful jellybeans, and bunny-shaped chocolates. Also, would it even be Easter without all the green “grass” filling the bottom of the basket?!? I would prepare my Easter basket for the egg hunt at Grandma’s house (while eating as much of my candy of course). After having our annual Easter egg hunt, we would all get together for our special games and Easter egg arts and crafts. From races that included balancing an egg on a spoon to seeing who can roll an egg down the hill the furthest without it cracking or breaking, good times had by all!
Easter for me has always been fun and memorable. I’ve come to realize that the older I get, the more important these traditions become. I love Easter, I love food and I love wine. Being a wine Sommelier and the Cellar Master for The Greenbrier Resort, there is no doubt I will have wine on my table when it comes to a traditional Easter dinner, as well as on the table of many guests sharing their Easter traditions with our Greenbrier family.
My go-to wines for easter are ones that I choose to be most versatile for not just food, but for everyone sitting at my table.
On the table, these are the common foods that you will find for an Easter dinner: deviled eggs, glazed ham, leg of lamb, scalloped potatoes, honey-glazed carrots, roasted asparagus, purple cabbage salad or slaw, hot crossed buns, bread assortments; and carrot cake.
When it comes to our holiday dinners, we are preparing food that we look forward to enjoying once a year. To me, that’s an opportunity to put some exciting wine on the table that we KNOW our friends and family will enjoy. Bubbles are a great way to start the party! Not only do you have a wine to cheers’ with, but bubbles are incredible with food as well. My personal choice of bubbles for Easter is Prosecco. Just about any brand will do. I would highly recommend the Filodora, Tommasi, Prosecco from Veneto, Italy. The aromas of pears and apples immediately invite you into the glass with attractive lively bubbles that bring a nice crisp to the wine. This wine is an excellent pairing for those deviled eggs that we tell ourselves that we’ll only have 1, but end up having 7…
My personal choice of bubbles for Easter is Prosecco.
For our white wine, bring out that rich and buttery California Chardonnay. This will not only pair well with almost everything, but it will satisfy all your Chardonnay drinkers or even convert your guests to drinking Chardonnay as their new “go-to.” My Personal go-to Chardonnay is the Rombauer from Carneros, California. With aromas and flavors of tropical fruits, butter, and spices like vanilla all working together to create a long smooth mouthwatering finish, this wine will have you craving for more after every sip.
For our red wine, I’m going to spice thinks up a bit! I’m a HUGE Spanish wine connoisseur and anytime there is an opportunity to introduce my guests to an Old-World red wine, I lead them to the doors of Spain. Rioja wines are known for their coconut-scented American oak and lush red fruit. The grape used to make Rioja is Tempranillo and it is native to Spain. I enjoy Rioja with lamb, roasted pork (in this case, glazed ham), chicken, and dishes that are finessed with spices. My favorite Rioja producer is Lopez de Heredia. I make sure to look for “Reserva” on the label of the bottle along with some age being tied to the vintage to ensure that I’m getting a similar style every time.
I’m a HUGE Spanish wine connoisseur and anytime there is an opportunity to introduce my guests to an Old-World red wine, I lead them to the doors of Spain.
Finally, we must end our dinner on a sweet note, right? It’s time to bring out the carrot cake! Now, I know we are no stranger to carrot cake, but we may be a stranger to what wine to pair it with. As you know, carrot cake is basically a spiced cake topped off with cream cheese. My favorite pairing for this dessert is a sweet wine called Eiswein originally from Germany. Eiswein has a nectary texture with concentrated aromas and flavors of apricot, pineapple, and spicy pear. Its silky sweetness is balanced by bright acidity. Enjoy this sweet style wine with the carrot cake and appreciate a harmonious experience between food and wine.
Stop by Robert’s Antiques Wine & Gourmet Shop. They have a phenomenal selection of 700+ wine labels both local and from all around the world and a team that will guide you on the wines that you will need.
Well, there you have it everyone. A little history of easter with my personal food and wine pairing experience that I encourage all of you to try! I would also like to mention that if you are looking for a place that carries these types of wines that I have mentioned in this article, stop by Robert’s Antiques Wine & Gourmet Shop located on 1055 E Washington St, Downtown Lewisburg (Greenbrier County) (right across from the Wild Bean). They have a phenomenal selection of 700+ wine labels both local and from all around the world and a team that will guide you on the wines that you will need.
They also have a terrific selection of gourmet cheeses, charcuterie meats, caviar, and many other items to help make any special occasion unique and interesting. If you’re lucky, you may even catch me in the shop stocking up on supply or hanging out with everyone. I have also included my list of suggested wines that you can find at their shop to enjoy on Easter or throughout the year!
Wines that you can find at Robert’s Antiques Wine & Gourmet Shop for your Easter dinner!
- Filodora, Tommasi
- Far Niente
- Frank Family
- La Crema
- Grgich Hills
- Vina Alberdi, Reserva
- Ramirez de la Piscina, Reserva
- Sierra Cantabria, Reserva
- Familia Montana, Reserva
- Heinz Eifel, Eiswein
- Dolce, Late Harvest
- Emotions de la Tour Blanche, Sauternes
– HashtagWV #141. April 2022.
Born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia, Thomas Kirby knew right away where his passion stood. He traveled to Greenbrier County, West Virginia for an opportunity that would completely change his life. Thomas began his career with the Greenbrier as a server assistant. His hard work, dedication and willingness to learn were attributes that separated him from everyone else. From busing tables, running food, serving the guest, bartending and selling wine. Thomas not only worked his way through every position within the front of the house, but he also mastered the craft for each one as well. His philosophy was, “If it’s not perfect, then it’s not right!” Thomas has always been his biggest critic which is what gives him the drive that he displays to this day. Thomas became the Manager and Sommelier for the Greenbrier’s most formal fine dining restaurant within only three years of working for the company. Thomas not only leads the restaurant operations for the Main Dining Room, but he also leads the most prestigious award-winning wine program within the Greenbrier Resort.