During the biggest Christian holidays, we should not be afraid to have a glass of wine. After all, one of the miracles of Jesus Christ himself was that he turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. So what to choose with eggs, butter or lamb? A national sommelier will share her tips with us Klára Kollárováwhich recommends reaching for wines born in the vineyards of Moravia and the Czech Republic.
Holy Week or Passion Week, as the period before Easter is called, when Jesus Christ was crucified and then miraculously resurrected, is full of days with epithets. These are Palm Sunday, Blue Monday, Shrove Tuesday, Shrove Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. We will focus on those related to gastronomy. Let’s start with Ugly Wednesday.
Are you down on Ugly Wednesday? Better stop fast or you’ll be stuck all year. Enjoy a good Moravian or Czech wine that is sure to put a smile on your face. You can use it to complement the typical meals of that day. These are different pieces of chips, breads and maybe apples, so their shape emphasizes the mood of the day when Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
“Of the white wines, a wine with a round and more aromatic taste goes well with a dish like potato pancakes, to balance the strong taste of garlic and support the aroma of marjoram. Find veltlin or sylvan, or Mikulov vlasák. Don’t go for anything complicated with reds, I’d go for the fruity Blue Portugal, it’s smooth and uncomplicated.” he advises Klára Kollárovánational sommelier
According to Christian tradition, the Last Supper of Jesus is associated with Maundy Thursday. It is said that those who want to be healthy should treat themselves to something green with the food of this day. People used to eat mainly spinach, peas and cabbage, but today that alone probably wouldn’t satisfy us. Especially when we have so many options to choose from in the form of arugula, avocado, peppers, limes, broccoli, herbs, etc. Vegetable soups are also a perfect choice.
“The lighter white wines, which also have subtle vegetal notes, perfectly complement the vegetables. Sauvignon will be the most famous for everyone. If you like a creamy vegetable soup, choose a wine that has been aged in one of the wooden barrels: acacia or classic oak. Fresh stainless steel wine with cold vegetables. You can also try the spicier Sylvan Green or, conversely, the light Müller. Go for a spicy Grüner Veltliner with asparagus and young peas.”
On this day, people traditionally fasted and hardly ate. From the Christian point of view, it is one of the most significant days: Jesus Christ was crucified. That is why we also remember our loved ones who are no longer with us. Although fasting is observed, in some regions it was possible to have at least one light meal of fresh fish. For those who found fish too expensive, they could at least prepare a fish alternative: fish-shaped potato dough. Some families also cooked a thick soup made of sauerkraut and potatoes. For the rest, spinach, peas, millet or sweet balls with dried fruit.
“To accompany freshwater fish in the usual preparations, i.e. grilled or baked, try Rhenish Riesling. Thanks to its acid, it complements the dish and replaces the acidity of the lemon. If you use more fish fats, such as salmon or catfish, opt for a rounder wine with greater flavor structure: Pinot noir or dry rosé, such as Frankovka or Pinot noir. For dishes made with chickpeas and millet, the rest of the “ingredients and the general tone of the food are important. If you combine it with vegetables, choose fuller whites. However, if you include mushrooms, complement the dish with a light red: Blau Portugal or St. Lawrence.”
After the fast comes the feast. White Saturday inevitably includes not only the cleaning and preparation for the Christmas party, but also the stuffing, or meatballs, for which perhaps everyone has their own recipe. There are also traditional sweet dishes in the form of yeast dough and lambs (symbolizing Jesus Christ as a sacrificial lamb). Eggs were also dyed and pom-poms were woven.
“For sweet dishes, we use sweeter wines to pair naturally. With them, it is important to pay attention to the balance between the sweetness of the wine and the food. So, for example, use a wine from the semi-dry category only for a marzipan that is only sweet. But if there are more raisins and jam on top, go for a semi-sweet wine.”
For Christians, Easter Sunday is clearly the most important holiday: Jesus Christ rose from the dead. And this is a reason to celebrate! Standing tables are folded with rich dishes filled with broth, lamb, beef or goat. As there is usually a sweet tooth after the meat, lamb or sweet rolls are once again an integral part of the party.
“Pairing wines with meat dishes is more feminine. It is not only the taste of the meat or its structure and fat that matters, but also the treatment chosen and the ingredients used. Anyone who does a little cooking knows that slow-roasted lamb with a strong sauce, like demi glace, needs a different wine than thyme-poached scallops.” explains the national sommelier. “However, normally with lamb we are talking about wines with spiciness and higher tannins. The international choice is Cabernet Sauvignon, but here we have a nice alternative: André or Cabernet Moravia. Kózlečí is more delicate, so I would choose a slightly less intense wine, for example Merlot or Zweigeltrebe. Beef is even more delicate, so it needs lighter reds like Pinot Noir or Sant Llorenç. But if it’s easy with lemon and herbs, feel free to use Chardonnay.”
Christmas carols are also typical of spring break. The tradition is mainly observed in smaller towns and villages, when boys are given eggs after “rejuvenating” girls with a pom-pom. The question arises: like wine, does it go with eggs in a hundred ways?
“The egg is a very difficult component to pair because the yolk has a distinctive texture and creates a fullness and a special enveloping sensation in the mouth. Therefore, it is best paired with a dry sparkling wine, when the effect effervescent breaks through this layer on the tongue. Prepare a fluffy omelet with a strong cheese and open a Moravian sparkling wine made in the traditional method.” supplies Klára Kollárovánational sommelier
Pairing wine and food can be a science at first glance, but don’t worry. To get started, just follow a few simple rules. Light light, strong strong, bright white, dark red, sweet sweet, etc. Playful and according to everyone’s taste. Easter is a traditional holiday, for which a variety of traditional dishes are served based on quality seasonal ingredients. There is nothing easier than pairing traditional varieties grown here, i.e. Moravian and Czech varieties such as Grüner Veltliner, Müller Thurgau, Riesling or St. Lawrence and Frankovka.