The daffodils are out and the days are getting warmer, spring has sprung! And as the seasons change, so do our tastes in wine and foods.
The idea of changing the wine you drink with the season, just as you change your diet and your wardrobe still meets some resistance. People tend to ‘like what they like’ when it comes to wine and drink the same wines through the year. I hope to help you change that trait.
The more pronounced acidity and palate weight of lighter wines may not be to your taste. But try them with the right kind of food and you’ll see how perfectly tuned they are to the flavours of spring. Think about all the new wines you drink when you are on holiday, well why not try something different at home?
Do you love Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon blends?
I know this may be heresy to some, but there are other areas apart from Marlborough, New Zealand. Why not explore other areas which produce the wonderful Sauvignon Blanc. Try those from South Africa, Chile, and Argentina if you’re not familiar with them. And revisit white Bordeaux and other Sauvignon-Semillon blends; look for Pouilly Fume and Sancerre from the Loire Valley
Les Martinieres Pouilly Fume @ €17.99 Full of expression, with floral notes; fresh on the attack, full-bodied and fleshy, it displays the typical characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc. Good length. Classical elegance.
Bellingham Ancient Earth Sauv Blanc @ €15.99, Pale gold with a vibrant green glow. Beaming with tropical pineapple, pear and passion fruit aromas lead to a lively entry and generous Cape gooseberry and ripe fig flavours against a touch of herbs, finishing with delectable fresh and feisty fruitiness.
Oxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc @ €11.99, Zesty nose with aromas of freshly cut grass and gooseberry. Flavours of kiwi fruit and gooseberry are present, with underlying tropical fruit flavours and lovely mineral finish.
Chablis and other unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnays
If you’re a Chardonnay drinker, time to change from oaked to unoaked or at least subtly oaked. Faced with competition from the new world, Chablis is better quality than ever. The lighter style of wine suits the delicate foods that spring inspires.
Benoit Lafont Petit Chablis @€ 15.99, Pale gold in colour. Intensely fruity, mineral nose, with floral and zingy citrus notes. Fresh on the palate, with flavours of ripe lemon. Lovely length.
LJB Chardonnay @ €9.99, this Chardonnay is a beautiful light yellow colour. On the nose it is warm with a note of citrus fruits, then complex with amber accents of honey and toasted bread. On the palate the wine is rich and fresh with and beautiful ending.
Miguel Torres Cordillera Chardonnay @ €22.99, fresh and fruity aroma with dominant notes of peach, white plum, and grapefruit. Mineral on the palate with great volume and an elegant acidity with rich fruity long-lasting aromas and a fresh, pleasant aftertaste
What if I told you that rosé wines could be manly and sophisticated? You may not believe me but it may get you curious. Many rosés now are little different from reds in their levels of alcohol and intensity. So at this time of year try the lighter, less full-on styles from Italy, Provence and elsewhere in the South of France.
Les Domainiers Rose France @€22.99. Fine crystalline pastel peach colour, with pink highlights. Fresh, fruity nose with hints of apricot, white fruits and pomegranate. A fine full-bodied fresh mouth with a warm, Well-balanced structure and. a long-lasting, gentle, silky and crispy finish…
Chateau de Marsan Bordeaux Rose @ €10.99. Beautiful pink colour, brilliant and clear. The nose is powerful, complex and presents little red fruit aromas (currant and strawberries) the palate is generous and luscious.
Young Pinot Noir!!
I do mean young, because you want that bright, intense, pure raspberry fruit. The most reliable place to find it currently is in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. Chile and France have some appealingly soft, fruity Pinots too and serve lightly chilled. Too expensive or not a pinot fan, Gamay is also a light red that’s similar to Pinot Noir. In fact, this variety is a cousin of Pinot Noir and it grows primarily next to Burgundy in a region called Beaujolais.
Benoit Lafont Pinot Noir @ €13.99 A young pinot from Burgundy, bright cherry red in colour. Consists of red berry fruit aromas, a hint of lime and mint. Typically delightful pinot noir complexity.
The Crossings Pinot Noir@ €21.99 Marlborough New Zealand. The crossings Pinot Noir presents lifted aromas of berry fruits and violets, ripe berry fruit flavours combine with savory notes on the palate in an unmistakably New Zealand wine that is both elegant and approachable.
LJB Fleurie @ €15.99 A classic Gamay, from Beaujolais. Velvety in texture, with a bouquet that is both floral and fruity. The most feminine of the Beaujolais crus.