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Cross Over

We have nothing against milk chocolate bun(nies), but in terms of Easter treats that actually go with wine, hot cross buns are infinitely better. The buns—doughy, raisin-studded, and crossed with icing (or a zing of lemon curd)—are a tradition during the week leading up to Easter. In fact, Napa Valley’s own Model Bakery has some of the best. Hot cross buns are thought to have been created on the Friday before Easter (Good Friday) by a monk, Brother Thomas Rocliffe, in St. Albans, England in the 14th century. There are also several fables concerning the buns. Allegedly, for example, hanging a few buns in the kitchen expelled evil spirits. Among bunophiles, Queen Elizabeth I clearly understood bun power. She decreed they could only be sold on Good Friday, Christmas and burials. As for the best wine with hot cross buns, I vote for Tokaji Aszú from Hungary, a wine that’s not syrupy sweet, just mesmerizingly complex.

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