Easter Candy and Wine Pairing

Off the wall suggestions for your Easter basket


Wine and Easter candy sounds like a recipe for disaster. For today, set your preconceived notions aside and come along as we pair four wines with the most popular and nostalgic Easter candies out there.

With the recent surge of unique wine pairings on the web, along with the article on the Best Easter Candy over at What’s Cookin', we couldn't help but put this pairing to the test.

Whether you need some wine-induced creative inspiration for where to hide those chocolate eggs or find yourself alone with a box of Peeps and a craving for wine, we've got the pairings for you. Read on for our recommendations and let us know your thoughts below!

The Wines

Cantarranas Rueda Verdejo  2010 - Chosen for supple character. Showed nice acidity, a soft mouthfeel and aromas of melon, pear and lemon.

Pali Rosé Sunset (Grenache/Pinot Noir) 2010 - A dry rose chosen for its Easter-themed pink color and reputation of pairing with chocolate desserts. Strawberry notes on the nose, very dry with hints of ripe peaches.  

Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz 2011 - The name pretty much sums it up. A sweet red with heavy blue and blackberry flavors. “Jammy” indeed and chosen for the chocolate pairing only.

Barefoot Bubbly Rosé Cuvee “Champagne” - Nice strawberry notes mixed with a peachy nose and smaller style bubbles.

In light of a limited wine selection, I have included other recommendations with the help of Editor-in-Chief Gregory dal Piaz.
 

Peeps!

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without Peeps. The wines went up against two colors: pink and purple. For these I was pleasantly surprised.

Rueda - The acid melds together with the marshmallow goo and melts in your mouth. The dryness calms down the artificial, neon sugar dusting on top.

Rosé - This wine proved too dry. However, if you just can't resist the Peeps, go for the pink, the colors mesh together better! A sweeter rosé probably was the way to go but then again we are talking about Peeps, so who knows?

Bubbly - This is like an artificial taste celebration in your mouth, though I did appreciate how the sparkle of the wine made that marshmallow gooeyness even gooier.

We also tried the chocolate dipped version of the classic Peeps. The Rueda was the winner here with its ability to take on that extra level of chocolate creaminess.

You might also try: A sweet Riesling or sweeter style of Rosé. The Peeps have vanilla notes that could also take on the flavors of an oaky Chardonnay.
 

Jolly Rancher Sours Bunnies

Now THIS was something I was dreading. To the Sour Bunnies’ credit, I only tasted the watermelon and cherry part of their play group. Apple and orange deserve a fair shot, but my palate couldn’t take it.

Rueda - The fuller body overpowered the whole point of these bunnies’ existence: sourness. It did calm down the artificial qualities nicely.

Rosé - If you want to experience an explosion of nastiness in your mouth, here’s your chance.

Bubbly - Please, don’t try this combo at home!

You might also try: A floral white like Viognier that has a touch of sweetness and can drown out the heavy acid and sugar.
 

Close Encounters of the Crunchy Kind

Robin Egg Malted Milk Balls and Jordan Almonds both lend a crunchy texture to their candy. One has a sweet candy coating, the other a nutty, savory inside. Both faired better than expected with the wines.

Rueda - The suppleness of the wine complements the crunchy candy coating of the Robin Egg, but the dry/savory factors become too elevated with the Jordan Almonds.

Rosé - The acid became too pronounced here with the sweet candy coating of the Robin Egg. And for the Jordan Almonds? Let’s just say they don’t make very good play pals.

BubblyThe crunchy coating of the Robin Egg downplays the effervescence and strips what little character the wine has. With the almonds this was nice! The strawberry notes shined through and were a nice conclusion to the candy.

You might also try: A Tawny dessert wine from Australia with the sweet and nutty Jordan Almonds or a Sauternes with the Robin Egg.

Yogurt Pretzels

I find yogurt-covered anything reminiscent of white chocolate. Either that, or my taste buds are out of whack as I plow through my Easter basket. Either way, these purple and pink striped gems provided more than just a pretty view.

Rueda - The sweet/salty factor really enhances the suppleness of the wine and lengthens the finish.

Rosé - If you are going to drink pink while hiding those eggs, this is the way to go. I even went to the extent of describing this pink, purple and white pairing “divine.”

Bubbly - Surprisingly, the sweet/salty factor was not friendly to the bubbly. Too many textures and levels of sweetness going on here.

You might also try: A moderately sweet wine, such as Moscato. The salt of the pretzel will help cut the sweetness of dessert or sweet wines.

Chocolate Bunny (Rabbits)

Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Coconut Cream Bunny and Snap-it Rabbit

Rueda - The texture of the coconut bunny was lovely with this wine and the richer, heavier dark chocolate really deepened the wine’s finish. Snap-it Rabbit is also a nice friend for this wine - the straighforward and simple creaminess lent themselves well to the supple texture.

Rosé - Don’t bother with a dry style for coconut bunny – he wants sweet rosé, so give it to him! Snap-it Rabbit was a much friendlier combination.

Sweet Shiraz - All the different textures of the coconut bunny took away from the soft and silky components of the wine, while the Snap-it Rabbit was nice.

Bubbly - Again, too much texture for Mr. Coconut, but this is sittin' pretty with Mr. Snap-It, giving the simple chocolate a little pizzaz with its bubbles.

You might also try: A Riesling from Alsace would bring together all three components of the coconut bunny. Go out on a whim and try Cabernet with Snap-It, he seems to like everything!

Chocolate Eggs

Cadbury Chocolate Crème Egg and Reese's Peanut Butter Egg

Rueda - Thank goodness I picked you! Once again this really lessened the artificiality and made the waxiness of the Cadbury Egg manageable. The addition of peanut butter to the mix with the Reese's did not fare well with the wine, leaving an overly dry sensation.

Rosé - If you try this with a Cadbury Chocolate Creme Egg at home, plan on some heavy drinking afterwards to wash down the taste. The Reese's Egg is a winning match for the Rosé (at last!). I love how the fruit stands out with the creaminess and nuttiness of the Reese's peanut butter.

Sweet Shiraz - Was not a match for Cadbury on any level. The fruit and jamminess overpowered the fluffy, creamy peanut butter filling of the Reese's Egg as well.

Bubbly - Visions of chocolate covered strawberries entered my mind with the Cadbury egg, so this match gets my approval. Peanut butter was also approved but definitely didn't conjure up such delicious visions.

You might also try: A young Banyuls with the Cadbury Creme. A sweet madeira like Boal or Malmsey that will highlight the savoriness of the Reese's Egg.

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Crisp and Coconut Crisp Eggs

The balance of creamy milk chocolate and subtle texture on both eggs make them too good to pair with most wine. However, you might want to try a Banyuls or Ruby Port.

Conclusions

To my surprise, the Rueda outperformed the other wines. Its dry and supple nuances paired well with many of the different textures and flavors of the candy.

The dry rosé was not a good choice (except for the Reese's Egg). If you are going to do a rosé, veer towards a sweeter style.

Unfortunately, the sweet Shiraz did not pair as nicely with the chocolate as I had imagined. The jamminess was just too much to take with the creamy texture of the chocolate. If I was to try this again, I would give it a fair shot with the candies.

Sparkling Rosé is not a friend for the candy-types but performed well with most of the chocolate.

Well that wasn't so bad, right!? Now go drink some wine and eat a Peep or two, just for the heck of it. You might be surprised!
 

Want to Learn More?

Check out more recommendations for sweets and wine pairings and learn How to Pair Wine with Cookies!

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Comments

  • Snooth User: shsim
    Hand of Snooth
    1032666 1,286

    Haha sour candy and wine pairing sounds like a good challenge to take up.

    Apr 04, 2012 at 8:24 PM


  • -why not dark chocolate with a Recioto de la Valpolicella and walnuts if the Easter is rainy...

    Apr 05, 2012 at 3:21 AM


  • Snooth User: Azeredo
    536111 9

    All chocolate with Jerez or Montilla Pedro Ximenes (PX).
    Dark chocolate with Port LBV.

    Apr 05, 2012 at 6:34 PM


  • Snooth User: luv2runmom
    420724 16

    The Chocolate Shop Wines from Walla Walla Washington

    Apr 06, 2012 at 9:59 PM


  • Snooth User: PLMO
    853999 20

    Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz?? It's a great wine for people trying to break the Moscato habit, and it's pretty good with spicier things, but even the thought of chocolates or Peeps with this makes me cringe. (grit teeth and shiver)

    Apr 07, 2012 at 5:19 PM


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