Wines For Springtime
"Floral wines? For spring? Groundbreaking." ~Miranda Priestly...probably
Yes! Floral WINES for spring! (Just hear me out Miranda). And light bodied reds. And medium to full bodied whites. Maybe an orange wine!? Don't forget fuller bodied rosés. Spring is a wonderful season for wines. Let's discuss.
Starting off with floral white wines. There is an entire classification of white wine grapes in the "aromatic" category that are wonderful this time of year. What that means in simple terms is that the grapes themselves, and the juice they produce, have lots of smells and flavors. The winemaker is unlikely to use any oak as letting the pure grape flavors shine through is the goal. Many of these grapes have floral smells to them, making them a perfect companion to the world turning green after a winter of hibernation and blooming flowers. Many of these styles pair very well with vegetable focused dishes, complimenting the newest produce from your gardens. A few wines to try in this style include: Friulano and Grechetto (from Italy), Gewürztraminer, Grenache Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Muscat Blanc, Silvaner and Viognier. A few of the scents you may discover are: rose, honeydew melon, honeysuckle, orange blossoms, jasmine, lily and lavender.
If none of those wines or floral aromas appeal to you, there is plenty of other options available to beckon you into springtime. As the weather warms and the sun is out longer, we may no longer be tempted by blanket forts and big glasses of full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. There is no need to hastily abandon red while when the calendar flips to March; it is a great time for lighter bodied reds such as Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, or Cabernet Franc.
Are you anxiously awaiting summer porch days with rosés? No need to wait until June. There are fuller bodied styles of rosé available (all year long really) perfect for this season. Spain is country doing fuller bodied rosés. Typically, a darker colored rosé will be fuller bodied, as it is left to sit longer on the skins and pulls out more flavor and structure (such as the tannins). And don't forget - if you are at the wine shop, just ask for help finding a fuller bodied or richer rosé. There is never any shame in asking for help to find a wine at a shop.
If you enjoy medium to full bodied styles of white wines, early spring is your time. Just because a white wine is fuller bodied and deeper in flavor, doesn't mean it is heavy in fall flavors like vanilla, butter or toffee (such as an oaked Chardonnay). White wines of medium and full body can be ripe with fruits, flowers, citrus and vegetal notes. Medium and full bodied whites such as Viognier, Roussanne and Trebbiano have spring like flavors of flowers, basil, peaches, citrus zest, lemongrass and honey.
And maybe an orange wine? Orange wines are made from white grapes that have had skin and seed contact, adding deeper flavors and a richer color. (The name is from this color, not the use of orange fruits). Flavor notes of these wines include jackfruit, sourdough and orange marmalade.
Finally, as I often say..any wine is great in any weather if that is what you like to drink. The above are recommendations based on experience and pairing with the foods and temperatures of the season. Enjoy responsibly and pick what you like - though do always leave some room to try a little something new.
~Cheers & Ears