As the weather warms up and flowers start to bloom there is a shift in wine tastes from the big reds of winter to other wines. Whether driven by warmer temps and interest in a more refreshing wine served chilled, or by the need to pair with lighter meal choices, white wines, dry roses and medium body reds become much more popular this time of year. Maybe it is connected to the renewal of Spring and a natural change of perspective as we look forward to warmer weather. No matter why, it is a good time to review some of the great options for Spring 2014.
One caveat – I always agree you should drink what you like best, and there is still a great place for big red wines to pair with big grilled meats. That said, part of the fun of wine drinking is discovering new things, so I encourage you to keep trying wines you haven’t had before. Here are some for your consideration:
Think Pink…I have to start with dry rosé (ro-zay). If you prefer red berry flavors to the citrus/stone fruit of white wines, these are for you!
The new vintage (2013) wines are arriving now and it is exciting to taste the freshness in these wines. There has been a dramatic increase in the popularity of these wines over the past 5 years as more people discover the bright red fruit flavors, usually raspberry, strawberry & cherry, with some secondary tropical fruits. Not all dry rosé’s are the same, there are many different varieties of red grapes that roses’ are made from and roses from almost every wine making country and region. At Woodberry, we are especially partial to the rosés of Southern France…for me, especially those from Provence. Our wines Saint Andre de Figuiere (Fig-air), and Commanderie de la Bargemone (just Bargemone for short) offer the best of what dry rose’ can be. These are the traditional rose’ wines that have led to the increasing popularity of the rosé category. Try one of these to see why. They are crisp, refreshing, and pair well with almost every warm weather meal choice you make.
Most white wines also have the crispness to be great wines for this season. Sauvignon Blanc wines are known for their refreshing acidity. New Zealand sauv blancs continue to lead the category with their big citrus grapefruit flavor characteristics. I prefer our Barker’s Marque Arona, made in the northern Marlborough style with some secondary stone fruit richness behind the grapefruit. More subtle or elegant sauvignon blanc wines come from the Loire (Low-are) Valley in France…Sancerre
(Saun-sair) has become very popular. We offer four different ones…my favorite is the Guilbaud (Gil-bow) with a very classy, elegant flavor profile that represents the best of sauv blanc. I’m also partial to sauv blanc wines from Bordeaux. Many of these are blended with Semilion (semi-yohn) that softens sauv blanc’s acidity and adds some tropical fruit flavors to the wines. Sirius White Bordeaux is a blend of 50% each, and a great introduction to this wine group…find a bottle of Chateau Carbonnieux blanc to try my favorite white Bordeaux.
Other whites perfect for this season include Italian Pinot Grigio, unoaked Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc from France, South Africa or McKinley Springs Winery (Columbia Valley, WA). Try Furmint, from Hungary…we have two excellent examples that are great values too. Gruner Veltliner from Austria is another good choice.
Lighter bodied reds are easy to appreciate in this season. Try them with a little chill – put the bottle in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes before you serve them. Try it some of these…$20-25 Pinot Noir from Burgundy or Willamette Valley. Barbera from Piedmont…especially our Costa di Bussia Barbera d’Alba. It is an exceptionally refreshing, bright, but rich and complex red with natural crispness that makes it a great wine for warmer weather. Also try our Tempranillo based wines from Spain…they are super versatile and can pair with lighter foods and bigger meat dishes. Our Rios de Tinta from the Ribera del Duero area is a great example. I don’t want to forget for Chilean Carmenere made by Terra Andina, and our Michigan reds…Cabernet Franc and Blue Franc blends from Shady Lane…great wines for you to discover this season!!
Please let me know what you think after to try a couple of these….
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