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Spring Wines

Published on March 22, 2011

Spring is here! The sensory perception that comes to mind when I think of spring is cool breezes, fresh cut lawns, the morning dew, budding flowers, sunny days and the aroma of a cool spring rain. As wine lovers, we should celebrate this beautiful season with wines possesing these qualities.

The first wine that comes to mind is Sauvignon Blanc. This dry, crisp wine with its characteristic herbaceous, grassy nose is a perfect compliment to Spring. Its colors ranging from faint yellow and pale straw to light brass intimate the season’s palate. Its flavors of citrus, vanilla and melon can compliment almost any spring menu. This wine is great to sip on by the pool; even if it warms up it will still be refreshing and clean.

Sauvignon Blanc is grown in many wine areas of the world. Interestingly, its grassy, herbaceous and crisp characteristics are almost always present regardless of where it is grown. (The name "Sauvignon" is derived from the French "sauvage" meaning "wild.") In France, this grape is found in the aromatic and fresh Sancerres and Pouilly-Fumes of the Loire Valley. Pouilly-Fume is the firmer, drier and more elegant of the two, while Sancerre is a little more fruity. It is also grown in Bordeaux, where it is often blended with Semillon.

We are finding that Sauvignon Blancs from the Marlborough region of New Zealand are becoming increasing popular among white wine drinkers for their more intense tropical fruit undertones. My personal favorites!

In South America, Chile is also becoming known for its Sauvignon Blanc, especially from the Casablanca Valley. Here, as almost everywhere else, the wine is crisp and herbaceous, often with a good acidity.

Sauvignon Blanc provides the perfect accompaniment for seafood, poultry and white meats. It also makes an excellent apéritif as well as a nice sipping wine for a lazy spring afternoon. When buying, look for recent vintages (within the last two years.). Sauvignon Blanc typically does not improve with age. Because of its acidity, the wine should be served cold between 45° F and 50° F to be enjoyed at its best. To reach this temperature, give it about two hours in the refrigerator.

Another wine that comes to mind when thinking of spring is the German Riesling. German Riesling's light and airy sweetness make it the perfect beverage for this most delicate of seasons. One of this varietal's more amazing qualities is its flexibility to mesh seamlessly in a plethora of situaions. Faintly sweet, a little bit sweet, a lot sweet, or positively nectar-like: the versatility of these wines makes it easy to enjoy on any spring day, whether chilly, rainy or warm.

Some personal favorite spring season varietals are Viognier, Torrentes and Alberino. Although completely different grapes, they have very similar bouquet and flavor notes. Some refer to these as the flower wines! These wines are filled with notes of white roses, lavender, green apple, daisyies and peaches, among other smells and flavors often associated with spring time! These crisp, clean, dry wines are special in that you can sip on them by the pool or pair them with all varities of food from smoked meats, seafood, to both mild to strong cheeses. They are great with spicy foods like Thai as well.

I encourage everyone to try these spring-filled wines to brighten your senses. Whether you are looking to cool down, sip wine by the water or enjoy these wines with great food, remember all wine is best enjoyed with great company! Happy sipping!

Craig Brazeal
The Rock & Roll Wine Commando

Photo by Brian Hilson

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Top 10 Varietals for December, 2017

Pinot Noir is the most popular wine varietal chosen by our visitors this month.

This varies by season so if you're looking for something tasty to drink this winter, Pinot Noir is a great choice. The others are shown below:

1. Pinot Noir
2. Red Bordeaux Blend
3. Syrah
4. Nebbiolo
5. Cabernet Sauvignon
6. Merlot
7. Chardonnay
8. Red Blend
9. Sangiovese
10. Riesling

Top 10 Producers for December, 2017

Wines from Sapphire Hill were selected by our visitors the most this month, making them the most popular choice for consumers.

If you're looking for a wine suggestion, Sapphire Hill might be a great place to start. The others are shown below.

1. Sapphire Hill
2. Phelan Vineyard
3. Stephen Test
4. Ferdinand Pieroth
5. Adelsheim
6. Silver Oak
7. Louis Jadot
8. Viansa
9. Andrew Will
10. Bruno Giacosa