Celebrate Easter with expressive wines

Jay Cahill at Harrington's Liquors
Jay Cahill at Harrington’s Liquors

(I’ve written a special Passover holiday column on Kosher wines. Here’s the link )

Easter is a wonderful holiday. It brings together family in a renewal of spiritual and loving bonds and also ushers in the season of spring.

The holiday meal for Christians (Passover seder for Jewish people) is always a welcome feast. This year, my family will celebrate its newest member, 4-month-old Harvey John, who will be baptized at Sunday morning Mass.

Later, we’ll celebrate over family brunch where my mother Dorothy, who turned 96 on March 15, will preside. She’ll deliver the annual toast with a glass of Gruet Blanc de Blancs 25th Anniversary sparkling wine (New Mexico, $13.99).

From my family to yours, enjoy the day and reflect on the goodness of God and the wonder of life.

What follows is the third annual Easter holiday list of selections from four very special local wine experts.

Andrea DiFiore,

Andover Classic Wines, No. Andover

Vecchia Modena rings with red and black berry flavors.
Vecchia Modena rings with red and black berry flavors.

• Cleto Chiarli e Figli Old Modena Lambrusco, $15.99 — Deliciously full of dark raspberry, violet, rose, blueberry and black pepper aromas and flavors.

• Dr Loosen Riesling, $10.99 — Displays snappy peach and juicy citrus fruit highlighted by crisp mineral notes on the complex finish.
• Domaine des Baumard, $22.99 — The unique terroir of Savennieres in the Loire Valley is expressed in elegant style: Quince, Anjou pear, crème fraîche and green plum notes. Pairs well with ham.
• Lafage Miraflors Rosé, $15.99 — Pale color with salmon hues. The wine palate is crisp; the spiciness and fruit have a nice, round finish.
• Sandhi Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills, $38.99 — Rose petal, sweet spice, red berries and hints of flowers emerge from this medium-bodied effort.

Jay Cahill
Harrington’s Liquors, Chelmsford

Truchard Pinot Noir pairs well with ham
Truchard Pinot Noir pairs well with ham

• Truchard Pinot Noir, $21.95 — A complex nose of plum, rhubarb and wild strawberry. Silky smooth on the palate with bright flavors of cherry jam, cranberry and sweet vanilla.
• Dr. Frank Konstantin Dry Riesling, $16.95 — A crisp acidity and minerality enhance the lively lemon, green apple and floral notes.
• Stags Leap Viognier, $29.95 — A lot of distinctive sensations for the money: Delicate floral and stone fruit aromas and fresh flavors of peach, nectarine and apricot. Elegant.
• Mas Ste. Berthe Rosé, $17.95 — From spectacularly beautiful Les Baux de Provence comes this fabulous blend of five red grapes. It’s a dry, refreshing strawberry salad of flavors, just right for grilled fish or seafood stew.
• Daou Cabernet Sauvignon, $29.95 — A richly crafted Bordeaux-style red with well-integrated tannins and ripe fruit. Creamy mocha-espresso gives way to black currant and blueberries. Full bodied.

Sam Messina
Wine ConneXtion, Andover

Pine Ridge white blend features enchanting aromas and flavors.
Pine Ridge white blend features enchanting aromas and flavors.

• Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier, $9.99 — Enchanting white peach aromas lead into crisp yellow grapefruit, pineapple and honeyed pear notes. Clean, sumptuous and slightly off-dry finish.
• D’Esclans Whispering Angle Rosé, $17.99 — Pronounced aromas of ripe strawberry and green apple and lively flavors of cranberry and citrus zest notes. Long finish.
• Liberty School Pinot Noir, $12.99 — Delivers beautiful, earthy aromas of baked cherry pie, with subtle cigar box and cedar notes. Excellent depth and balanced acidity.
• Brazin Zinfandel Old Vines, $11.99 — A daring wine of intense black fruit aromas coupled with layers of mocha, spice, soft vanilla, and jammy plum and blackberry flavors. A table talker.
• Hook & Ladder Cabernet Sauvignon, $21.99 — An opulent Cabernet of dark cherry, red plum and blackberry integrated with the spicy sweetness of oak, cinnamon, clove and toast. Flavorful mood swings.

Richard Rourke
Tutto Bene Wine Cellar, Lowell

Joel Gott Chardonnay: Clean, refreshing, flavorful.
Joel Gott Chardonnay: Clean, refreshing, flavorful.

• Joel Gott Unoaked Chardonnay, $14.99 — Bright tropical aromas of melon and pineapple with stone fruit and apple flavors. Sings with baked ham.
• Erath Pinot Noir, $17.99 — Gentle black cherry and plum sweetness glides over the palate layered with spice and herbal flavors. Very smooth and enticing.
• Hook and Ladder Cabernet Sauvignon — See above.
• Cortez 78 Firepit Red Wine, $33.99 — A Napa Valley blend of Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel delivers full-bodied, complex expressions of dark plums, raspberry and almond brioché. Beautifully balanced.
• Torres Altos Ibericos Crianza Rioja, $11.99 — Silky smooth with mild tannins, this appealing red wine is ample in ripe black fruit and nutmeg notes. Pleasurable with roast lamb and other red meats.