Spring is on the way and everywhere you look there is a sense of renewal. When you think about wines for spring, you might want to start anew as well. Search for bright and snappy wines from a younger vintage.
The good news is this is an excellent time of year to find those newly released wines. Wineries often release their wines to the public twice a year, in spring and fall. And don’t be put off by the 2009 vintage on some newly released Australian and New Zealand wines. Remember, the wines from Down Under are a half-year ahead of their northern cousins. Drinking lighter reds like Pinot Noir or Syrah blends in the spring are the perfect transition from the heavy, tannic Cabernet Sauvignon or Meritage that kept us warm in the winter.
Serve your reds and whites in medium to large crystal stemware. Cool temperatures (50F) for whites and a temperature that is cooler than your room for reds—lighter red wines taste much more refined at around 64F. The large glass adds to enjoyment of the wine, as it leaves plenty of room for swirling and pondering, and it allows the aromas to linger in the space above the wine.
Here are a few of my favorite wines to welcome the new spring season:
Loosen Bros., Riesling Mosel Dr. L Germany, 2008
This wine comes from steep vineyards on slate soils from one of Germany’s largest wine regions. With flavors of apples and peaches, and a racy acidity, this classic off-dry white is a perfect introduction to German Riesling. Try it with salty, herb infused cheeses or slightly sweetened, fresh strawberries with balsamic vinegar and cracked pepper.
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand, 2009
Pale straw-green color with clean, fruit forward aromas of citrus and tropical fruit. This white has light to medium body and flavors of citrus and passion fruit with a slight herbaceousness. It displays exceptional acidity on the long finish, which makes it a very food-friendly wine that will pair well with a multitude of foods—even grilled asparagus with a squeeze of lemon.
Belle Glos, Sonoma Coast Meiomi, 2008
This Pinot Noir displays vibrant plum and cherry flavors with a hint of molasses. Cranberry and wild berry notes play out as well, with baking spices and a bit of oak that round out the medium finish. A delicious wine with grilled salmon or pork chops.
D’Arenberg, The Stump Jump South Australia, 2007
A blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mouvedre, this juicy red has flavors of berries and pomegranate with a bit of star anise and cinnamon on the palate. Soft tannins provide a smooth, velvety finish. This red blend pairs especially well with rotisserie chicken or broiled lamb chops.
Enjoy and embrace spring’s bounty! Uncork young whites and light reds before the summer heat demands a cool tropical cocktail or an icy cold beer.
Marian Jansen op de Haar is the Director of Wine for Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.