The Easter baskets have been emptied out, the Easter eggs have all been found, and the living room is littered with excelsior Easter grass, candy wrappers, and stray jelly beans. The Easter Bunny has retired for another year, and you're ready for a good long rest yourself.
But say, those Easter candies left behind when the kids finally tumbled into bed with visions of Peeps and Creme Eggs dancing in their heads are looking pretty good, and surely nobody will mind if the grown-ups snack on a few themselves. But, being grown-ups, perhaps a little liquid refreshment is in order with which to wash them down.
At first glance, you might think that candy and alcohol don't necessarily go very well together. But if you think of Easter treats as dessert, then there's no good reason why you shouldn't pour something a little spirited as an accompaniment.
A common misconception about dessert wines is that they should be as sweet as the confections they accompany, if not sweeter. In fact, many connoisseurs will tell you that very sweet wines go best with modestly sugared desserts (biscotti, pound cake, and the like), while very sweet desserts benefit from the counterpoint of something almost dry and probably a bit acidic to cut through all that opulence.
The French often say that the perfect accompaniment to chocolate is Banyuls, a so-called vin doux naturel, or natural sweet wine, from the Mediterranean town of the same name in France's Roussillon region. Made from grenache grapes, it is lightly fortified with neutral alcohol and has a concentration of fruit, itself a little chocolatey, that suggests ruby port to some tasters. Banyuls is available in the United States, but can be hard to find, so a good substitute would be a rich, ripe zinfandel, for instance Cline Ancient Vines zin. Or, if you want to splurge, try something from the masterful Turley.
These foil-wrapped chocolate eggs, with their yellow-and-white fondant interior (mimicking the interior of real eggs), are a longtime Easter favorite in the English-speaking world — America included. Cadbury recently announced that it was changing the formula of the chocolate used, but this affects only eggs made in the United Kingdom. The American version, produced by Hershey, will remain the same. The nutty flavor and defining acidity of a medium-dry tawny port is a perfect complement to these not-overly-sweet treats. Warre's Otima 10-year-old is a lovely example.
This article was originally published March 16, 2015