Happy spring! Here in Houston, it’s been spring since January (we didn’t have much cold weather this year), but for the rest of the world, this is the time to start thinking about green grass, flowers blooming, and snow melting. Wines are getting lighter with the change of season but everything is still a little in-between the hearty, full-bodied wines of winter and the light, cool ones of summer. While you may not be into Syrah and Malbec anymore, you’re also not ready for Riesling and pinot grigio. So what do you choose? Look for wines in the middle of the body spectrum- full bodied whites, roses, and light to medium bodied reds. Here’s the scoop on each of these types and some suggestions on what to try for each.
In the spring, I recommend a full bodied white wine. These wines are served chilled, so they’re great for warmer days, but they have a heavier weight in your mouth and some rich creaminess due to oak-aging and malolactic fermentation. Two good options for full-bodied white wines are oaked chardonnays and viogniers. Oaked chardonnays are richer than their unoaked counterparts and have more vanilla and butter flavors. Viogniers are often recommended as an alternative to chardonnay. They can also be either oaked or unoaked and are richer when they are, just like chardonnay. Even without oaking, I really like viognier in the spring because the floral notes remind me that flowers are blooming.
My recommendation: Bent Oak Viognier
Rosé wines are the quintessential spring wine. If you think of drinking reds in winter and whites in summer, it just makes sense to have rosé in the spring. Like reds and whites, there is a whole spectrum of rosé wines from dry to sweet. Rosé wines are made from a variety of grapes that influence how light or bold the wine will be. Two great options for spring are wines made from Syrah and Grenache. Syrah rosés tend to be a little more on the savory side and a little bolder, which means they’re great for a slightly cooler spring evening. Grenache rosés are a little fruitier but still have a good body, which is perfect when your spring is more reminiscent of summer. I recently had a rosé that was a combination of these two and was a little on the drier side with just a tiny touch of fruit.
My recommendation: Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses
Light and medium-bodied red wines are some of the most versatile wines out there. Both types tend to be more on the fruitier side than full-bodied reds. However, they have more weight than most rosés, which is nice when the weather is on the cooler side. Light-bodied reds tend to be a little more acidic than medium ones, but they all tend to have nice fruit flavors and are easy to drink with or without food. Pinot noir is a pretty classic light-bodied red that is easy to drinks with nice fruit flavors. In terms of medium-bodied reds, I’m pretty partial to Sangiovese. It has a nice weight on the tongue with higher tannins but still has a nice, smooth finish.
My recommendations: Z. Alexander Brown Uncages Pinot Noir (light), Vino Noceto Riserva Sangiovese (medium)
Do you have any springtime favorites?