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When it comes to Easter wines, don't put all of your eggs in one basket
(North East, Pa.) March 29, 2010 -- Riesling is the traditional wine to serve with Easter dinner, and fruity, sweet Concords are perfect for Passover, but here in the Lake Erie wine growing region, there are many ways to incorporate wine into your holiday festivities.
Add a touch of sparkle to your Easter brunch with a bubbly mimosa, create a farm fresh feast with a leg of lamb and earthy Pinot Noir, or sip a sweet cordial as you dip into the kids' Easter basket.
With Easter less than a week away, you'll find plenty of wines to pick from on the nearby Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail. Local winemakers offer the following suggestions:
Arrowhead Wine Cellars – Vignoles Known as excellent dessert wine, the versatile varietal offers a sweet counterbalance to salty ham, or succulent lamb and pork.
Burch Farms Country Market and Winery – Steuben Crisp, clean with a hint of fruitiness, this delightful wine appeals to the sweet or dry wine drinker and is best served with ham or turkey.
Blueberry Sky Farm Winery –Dandelion Wine from this winery overlooking Lake Erie pairs nicely with spring vegetables and ham.
Heritage Wine Cellars – Elderberry Wine, voted best fruit wine in Pennsylvania at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, is often served with wild game dishes or after dinner with dark chocolate or cheesecake.
Johnson Estate Winery – Freelings Creek Cabernet Sauvignon offers rich red currant and blueberry aromas blended with hints of vanilla and toasted oak. Pair this well-grounded red with tender, sweet lamb.
Lakeview Wine Cellars – Dry Riesling Taste lots of fruit up front with a clean citrus finish in this silver award winner, made from grapes locally grown by North East's Rassie Farms.
Liberty Vineyard & Winery – Traminette This semi-dry white earned a gold medal in the 2010 Florida State Fair International Wine Competition and a Silver in the 2010 Grand Harvest Awards. With its floral aromas and spicy flavor, Traminette is a favorite for holiday meals that feature turkey and ham.
Mazza Chautauqua Cellars – Proprietor's Reserve A meritage style blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot touched with French and American Oak with lamb.
Mazza Vineyards – Bare Bones White This fresh and simple blend of Vidal Blanc, Cayuga White, Traminette and Riesling offers a touch of sweetness and a crisp, clean finish after a sweet and salty glazed ham.
Merritt Estate Winery – Gewürztraminer A gold award winner in Sonoma Valley's 2010 Grand Harvest Awards competition, Merritt's off-dry, rich and aromatic white wine with a bright citrus finish is the perfect accompaniment for ham.
Noble Winery – Seyval Blanc de Blanc Seyval Blanc is a hardy French-American hybrid which thrives in the cool Lake Erie climate. This noble, dry, balanced white wine will delight your holiday guests.
Penn Shore Vineyards – Vidal Blanc A crisp, semi-dry, white wine in a Germanic style, served chilled, makes a nice addition to the Easter meal.
Presque Isle Wine Cellars – Blushing Heron is an award-winning sweet blend of native American Concord and Niagara grapes, perfect with pork or ham.
Quincy Cellars Winery and Restaurant – Quincy Merlot is chef-recommended as the ideal accompaniment to rack of lamb or pork.
Schloss Doepken Winery – Apple Crisp Celebrates the bounty of last year's local harvest with a delicious dessert wine.
South Shore Wine Company – Pinot Noir This dry, medium-bodied red aged in French Oak has hints of red berries and spice, strong enough to stand up to a leg of lamb or pork.
Sparkling Ponds Winery – Bubbly and Brisk Seyval, a festive, effervescent version of the winery's popular Seyval, it adds just the right sparkle to mimosas for Easter brunch.
Vetter Vineyards Winery – Victorian Chautauqua, a semi-sweet blend of Cayuga, Seyval and Riesling with mild grapey aromas and a grapefruit finish can be served at brunch or with a family dinner of ham or pork.
Willow Creek Winery – Chautauqua Chocolate Deep, rich and smooth, this wine's intense dark chocolate flavor is delightfully balanced by crisp flavors of elderberry and fresh grapes. It's the perfect dessert wine for those who favor dry-reds.
Woodbury Vineyards – Chardonnay This elegant and very dry Chardonnay was aged for about ten months in American oak. It is well balanced with lemon, pear and vanilla aromas, perfect for holiday turkey and pork.
And for those who do want to put all of their eggs in one basket, don't miss the 5th annual Easter egg hunt at Burch Farms Country Market and Winery, Saturday, April 3, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Burch Farms is located at the intersection of Sidehill and Moorheadville Roads in North East. Call for details, (814) 725-0747.
Coming soon: WINE & CHEESE GOURMET WEEKEND – Sat., May 1, and Sun., May 2, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. both days. Flavorful dishes infused with artisan cheeses and wines will be served during this popular annual gourmet event along the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail. From rich soups and elegant pastas to decadent desserts, our chefs and winemakers are paying homage to locally produced food and wine. Cheeses are being provided by Yancey's Fancy, New York's premiere artisan cheesemaker. Get away to the shores of Lake Erie in the largest grape-growing region east of the Rockies. Tickets are $35 per person, $60 per couple. Sunday-only tickets are $30 per person, $55 per couple. Order online, www.chautauquawinetrail.org, or call toll-free 1-877-326-6561.
The Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail includes 23 wineries along the southern shore of Lake Erie, the largest grape-growing region east of the Rockies. The 30,000-acre grape and wine region supports more than 2,000 jobs and contributes more than $340 million to the regional economy. For more information, see www.chautauquawinetrail.org, Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail on Facebook, and @LakeErieWines on Twitter. Phone 1-877-326-6561.
For more information
Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail on Facebook
@LakeErieWines on Twitter
Lisa Gensheimer 814-873-1198
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: http://www.chautauqualakehomes.com/