The period running up to Easter is full of local and religious traditions and customs, which, invariably, stem from or lead to food. Easter Sunday is the time to round up your family and friends for your very own big fat Greek Easter feast, the most lavish meal of the year!

As at Christmas with turkey, Easter has long been associated with lamb. Of all the meats, lamb is one of the most joyful to eat with red wine, especially at Easter. However, the variety of tastes on the Easter table requires a frequent swap of wines. While traditionally the wine suggestions accompanying the festive dishes are mainly reds, this year, apart from reds, we included in our proposals a rose and three whites.

On Holy Saturday’s night, after Resurrection, the Greek tradition suggests the preparation of a soup named mageiritsa. It is a demanding dish for pairing, as it contains livers, dill and lemon. Mageiritsa is well paired with a wine with fruity character and sharp acidity such as “Playia White Dry”. This secret blend of Xynisteri, Malaga and Asyrtiko varieties is the perfect match for your soup!

For the customary Easter table that follows on Sunday, we recommend to welcome your guests with an aperitif. We suggest the semi-sweet wine “Thalero” a blend of the indigenous varieties Xinisteri and Malaga with notes of honey and dry fig. Yet, if you prefer a dry white, try a glass of “Playia Rose” a wine with elegant aromas of stone fruits predominately peach and notes of white flowers and sweet candy.

As the waiting for the ideal roasting of the lamb can take hours, why not try a shot (or two…) of “Oenou Yi- Vassiliades Vineyards” Zivania, a traditional Cypriot pomace brandy and a perfect partner for Cypriot ‘meze’. Otherwise, if you are not going for strong spirits a good accompaniment for the Easter appetizers will be “Pente Litharia”, a wine produced from the prominent native variety Xinisteri. This dry white presents lifted aromas of exotic fruits and citrus coupled with the calming aroma and flavour of white flowers. Equally suitable is the rosé “Rodambelo” a wine with complex body and a rich aromatic expression of red fruits and rose petals. As the lamb turns tortuously over the fire, all three suggestions, served cold, will undoubtedly refresh all of your guests!

Greek lamb is typically prepared with large amounts of thick, rich garlic making this the perfect opportunity to uncork your best reds…. The lamb on the spit needs an accompaniment with good acidity and tannins that will cope with its fat and protein. “Geroklima”, a wine with strong body, soft tannins and delicious fruit is the ideal choice to provide a smoky, peppery counterpoint to this somewhat gamy red meat. The nose presents a bouquet of strong aromas reminding of black fruits and cherry in combination with spicy notes of black pepper and flowers making this wine the best partner for the lamb.

If you are not a fan of lamb and you are going with either beef or pork our suggestion is to open a bottle of our velvety red blend “Playia”, a wine with great depth and complexity with powerful yet smooth tannins. Filled with aromas suggestive of red forest fruits, long spices and elegant oak brushstrokes, this wine pairs perfectly with beef or pork, adding an extra dimension to the meat!

A delicious dessert is without a doubt the best way to conclude a lovely family feast on Easter day! Either you choose a chocolate pie with ice cream, a seasoned fruit tart, or an apple pie, the pairing with “Commandaria” a fine Cypriot dessert wine will make your mouth twinkle. It is a delicious dessert wine, with enviable aging aroma mainly of dried fruits, honey and spices, which honorably justifies its legendary history and the world’s oldest PDO wine!