One of the great pleasures –and occasionally curses – of living in the Midwest is the changing of the seasons and the change of activities and moods that follow. Who doesn’t love that first seasonal sip of hot cocoa when the old-man winter blows his first blast of chilly air? And who among us isn’t downright giddy the first time after the long winter that we dine alfresco with the sun hitting our faces, sipping a happy little number that matches our everything’s-looking-up mood?
Even coming out of this mild winter, we welcome spring 2012 with open arms. We’ve enjoyed the warm, spicy, decadent wines of winter, but are more than eager to move outdoors and bring with us wines that reflect the wonderfully fickle moods of spring. As we watch the lawn green before our eyes, we want to taste the herbaceous grassy notes in our Sauvignon Blancs. We want a Pinot Gris that is as crisp and refreshing as the breeze that flows into the newly opened windows. We want to reacquaint ourselves with the fruity floral notes that mimic the scent of the buds bursting from the season’s new growth. We crave simplicity and want to reconnect with the earth in a more straightforward way. Whether it is to garden, go biking, walking or sit with a friend we haven’t see for months, come the evening we want a wine that will indulge the mood and bring earthy, easy and unpretentious to the moment. So, for all of us who are about to embark on a wonderful spring season, here are some wine suggestions that capture the essence of our new routine. So sit back and delight the senses.
Top 10 Wines for Spring
Secco Prosecco – This crisp, sparkling white is lush with notes of spring flowers, apples and peaches and then finishes clean and dry. Open one in the evening and it will turn even the most ordinary of days into a delightful retreat.
Opera Prima Bellini – This Bellini is full of fresh squeezed peach nectar enriched by naturally sparkling wine that leaves a lovely aftertaste and makes this the perfect drink for most occasions including Sunday brunch on the patio with that special someone.
Martin Codax Albarino 2010 – Thoroughly food friendly, this dry wine is light and crisp with a bright acidy that matches spring’s sunny days and strikes a wonderful balance of acidity, body and fruity aromas. Albarino stands on its own as an aperitif but reaches its glory stage when matched with food. Seafood, poultry, light salads, and lightly-sauced pastas are only a few of the many possibilities.
Chandon Brut – “A nice, everyday bubbly that offers elegance at an affordable price. Chardonnay contributes crisp flavors of limes, while Pinot Noir brings deeper flavors of cherries. A lovely wine that grows in the glass.” WE
Bearboat Pinot Noir 2008 – This wine is a cut above your average Pinot in depth and character, but retains an easy-going nature that sits very well with alfresco dining. It is fruit forward but restrained with aromas of strawberry and vanilla notes that beautifully compliment the balanced acidity and soft tannins.
Elk Cove Pinot Noir – It’s deep and concentrated but uncomplicated and simply irresistible; not to mention, delicious with a marinated flank off the grill!
Babich Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – One of the best SB’s from NZ Marlborough region. Always a favorite as the days grow longer and the sun cooperates throughout the evening, this is one of our best springtime sellers with its juicy flavors and notes of fresh mowed hay.
Domaine Schlumberger Pinot Gris Les Princes Abbés 2009 – A wonderfully lush and concentrated Alsatian wine, so light and crisp yet bountiful in the mouth, you will love its youthful character.
Santa Margherita Chianti Classico 2006 – This wine is drinking strikingly well right now; it is a full-bodied Tuscan with oak, spice and berries. Grab this one when Mother Nature turns its furry into a light show and the downpour so strong that the air permeates with fresh tilled earth and the terrior of this great Italian vineyard will simply come to life.
Cocchi Americano Aperitif Wine – Pronounced ‘Ko Kee’, this is a mix of Moscato di Asti, citrus, Artemisia flower and infused herbs and spices. This excellent aperitif wine makes a great base for cocktails but is simply divine poured into a glass of ice and served with a slice of orange. It is an excellent thirst-quencher after a day outdoors while bringing just a bit of Italian countryside to your own home garden.