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Haming It Up For The Holiday

Serving ham to the family as they gather round the table to celebrate Easter is an engrained tradition in many households in Ontario. We have an extremely easy-to-prepare recipe. Put a ham into a crockpot, slather with brown sugar and maple syrup, cover with pineapple slices and pour pineapple juice over it. Simmer at very low heat for 2-3 hours. Given the sweet, slightly piquant, tropical flavours that have had a chance to infuse the meat, what wine should we pair it with? A flavourful Riesling with a beautiful balance between subtle sweetness and lively crispness, of course. And its ancestral homeland, with the largest concentration of Riesling plantings in the world, is Germany.

The middle Mosel based Max. Ferd. Richter Estate was founded in the village of Mülheim in1680, but vine growing there has been documented as far back as 591. Across the Mosel River is the village of Brauneberg. Its top vineyard, Juffer, takes its name from a religious convent located there many centuries ago. A completely steep sloping vineyard, the site is planted only with Riesling on a base of mainly slate with clay, loam and pebbles mixed in. The Kabinett classification means it’s a slightly later harvested “reserve style wine.” Racy, characterful and elegant, it delivers an enticing interplay of aromas and flavours with a long, long finish. Drinking beautifully now, it will only improve with another 5 to 10 years of aging. Rober Parker rated it with 93 points.

Bring on the ham, pair it with this Riesling Kabinett and enjoy family time with food and wine this Easter. Oh, forgot to mention, scalloped potatoes are a must for the carb component.                     

2022 Max Ferd. Richter Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett LCBO #36929, $31.95.