Wines for Spring: Varietals and Trends for Wine Lovers

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A winery owner in Loire checking the early grapes. Max Hartshorne photo.
A winery owner in the Loire Valley checking the early Spring grapes.

Here are the Top Five Wines for Spring

By Oscar Davis

Wine tasting at Maison du Vins in Tours, France.
Wine tasting at Maison du Vins in Tours, France.

One of the drinks that should always feature on your table is wine.

People have drunk wine for ages, and the benefits of this drink are well documented. Modern scientific research studies have also backed the benefits that people have attributed to wine in the past.

Wine is rich in antioxidant compounds that avert the cellular damage attributed to oxidative stress and inflammation. This means that drinking wine in moderation will lower your risk of contracting conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s that are caused by oxidative stress.

The high polyphenol antioxidants in red wine have also been shown to reduce a person’s risk of high cholesterol, metabolic diseases and hypertension.

Travel to Bordeaux

As a wine lover, you cannot afford to miss a trip to Bordeaux, a city in the southwestern region of France famed for its vineyards. However, you can still get a taste of Bordeaux wines from this region if you cannot travel by investing in wines by Millesima.

This is a leading future wine and fine wine French family company established in 1983 headquartered in Bordeaux. Its cellars stock sparkling, rose, white, and red wine varieties from Bordeaux and other leading wine-producing regions worldwide. You can get Millesima wines from their NYC store or online platforms.

Spring Tastes

There is no better time to set your sights on new experiences and flavors than in spring. As the weather gets warm, your taste buds will crave fresh and clean wines. As such, the best wine types for spring are those that are light and simple. If you are not sure which wines from Millesima will best pair with spring, here are a few tidbits to point you in the right direction.

White Wines

The acidity of white wine enhances its crisp, refreshing qualities making it the perfect accompaniment for warm weather. Even so, not all whites will offer the best qualities for springtime. When warm, opt for white wines with light to medium-bodied and high acidity because these are often the crispiest. The following are some of your best white wines for spring:

A selection of wines from Portugal to taste.
A selection of wines from Portugal to taste.

Sauvignon Blanc: This wine is generally dry with red fruit, nettle, and gooseberry characters. Based on its growing region in Australia, Sauvignon Blanc from this region has intense citrus, herby, grassy, tropical fruit, and gooseberry flavors. These flavors pair well with artichokes, peas, and asparagus.

Pinot Gris: This variety has nectarine and stone fruit aromas mixed with honey or hay characters. It often has a high sugar content and low acidity, which account for its complex flavors. At times, Pinot Gris is made with oak and can develop into a richly textured wine flavor.

Albarino: This has a distinct botanical aroma coupled with apricot, melon, mango, pineapple, honeysuckle and white peach flavors. It also has a delicious mineral kick that is somewhat salty.

Chablis: This is an unoaked chardonnay vinified in stainless steel tanks. It is often described as having white flower and citrus aromas. It also has light-bodied, dry and lean citrus flavors.

The above white wines are best consumed young in spring because they have the highest fruitiness and freshness at this time. They are best paired with spring-time foods like poultry and seafood dishes.

Rose Wines

Trust a good sommelier to pick out the best wines to pair with a great dinner out. Here, an expert in London pours the glass.
Trust a good sommelier to pick out the best wines to pair with a great dinner out. Here, an expert in London pours the glass.

With characteristics of both white and red wines, rose wines are incredibly versatile wines that should not be reserved exclusively for the hot weather in summer. Rose wines can be drank all-year-round because they comprise several grape varieties from different regions. Here are some of the best rose wines for your spring:

Grenache rose: This has notes of orange, hibiscus, strawberry and, at times, a hint of allspice.

Sangiovese rose: This bright copper-red wine has notes of green melon, fresh strawberry, yellow peach and roses.

Serving Portuguese rose wine at Restaurant Pedro & Ines at Quinta das lagrimas
Serving Portuguese rose wine at Restaurant Pedro & Ines at Quinta das lagrimas, Portugal.

Tempranillo rose: This wine has a pale pink hue with notes of watermelon, strawberry, peppercorn and meaty notes resembling those of fried chicken.

Syrah rose: This has a deep ruby color because of the ‘’Saignee method’’ used in its production. It has notes of strawberry, peach skin, green olive and white pepper.

Cabernet rose: This has a deep ruby-red hue with flavors that resemble those of red wine, including cherry sauce, pepper spice, black currant and green bell pepper. Unlike most rose wines, cabernet rose has heightened acidity since it is not usually aged in oak.

The above varieties of rose wine pair well with seasonal foods like light meat proteins, fish and spring vegetables. Light-colored rose wines with an ABV of at least 12.5% are often refreshing and dry, while darker wines like Syrah have more weight that makes them best-suited for chilly spring days.

Wines for Spring: Varietals and Trends for Wine Lovers 1Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wine is among the most technical names in the world of winemaking. This is because, after the first fermentation step that makes alcohol, it undergoes a second fermentation process that produces bubbles. Most people reserve sparkling wines for notable occasions.

Even so, the wines have most of the attributes of rose and Sauvignon Blanc that makes them ideal for spring. The clean flavors and fresh acidity of sparkling wines combined with the soft effervescence of their bubbles make them refreshing and great palate cleansers. Below are some good sparkling wine varieties to sip in spring.

Wine at Circus restaurant.
Wine at Circus restaurant.

Dry, lean and zesty: This is made of non-aromatic grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the coolest climatic regions. It has a minimal sweetness amount added during its dosage, and most of its wines are labeled Brut.

Light, dry, fruity and floral: This has a light taste with more fruity and floral tones compared to other sparkling wines because of its blended grapes. Most of these sparkling wines come from warm climatic regions like Sonoma in California and Franciacorta in Italy.

Sweet and perfumed: This is either made of aromatic grapes like Moscato or sweetened during dosage.

Rich, creamy and nutty: This is quite intricate and takes more time to produce than other sparkling wines. As such, it is among the most expensive wines for spring. To get the best rich, creamy and nutty sparkling wine, settle for one with an ‘’extended tirage’’ meaning it has been left to rest on its lees for a long time to enhance its creaminess.

Baileyana, a winery in San Luis Obispo. Edna Valley has had its own AVA since 1984.
Baileyana, a winery in San Luis Obispo. Edna Valley has had its own AVA since 1984.

Red Wines

The warm weather of spring does not mean giving up your red wines. These can be perfect for the brisk spring days that make you wish for light to medium-bodied wine with lower tannin and higher acidity than the cabernet. Below are a few of the best red wines for springtime:

Pinot noir: This is among the noblest red wine varieties. It has a fresh and delicate structure with soft tannins because of its low polyphenol level. The aromatics of pinot noir are quite fruity and range from plum, strawberry and cherry, typically with notes of worn leather, tea-leaf or damp earth.

Cupcakes and wine in Wilmington NC. photo by Stephen Hartshorne.
Cupcakes and wine in Wilmington NC. photo by Stephen Hartshorne.

Merlot: This has a softness that makes it ideal for new red-wine drinkers. Its typical scents include herbal, blackberry and plums with round textures.

Malbec: Though originally from France, most of the Malbec in the world now comes from Argentina. It is an easy-to-drink red wine with a deep purple hue and cherry or plum flavors.

Grenache: Grenache red wine comes from France, Australia, Spain, Italy and the U.S. It has black cherry, strawberry and raspberry flavors with medium acidity levels. Its ABV is 13.5-16% which makes it have a medium-bodied taste.

The above red wine varieties pair well with light spring dishes and even the hearty winter foods that you might not be ready to let go of yet.

Tasting wine with friends at Mendoza Wine Connection.
Grapes growing in Mendoza, Argentina.

Orange Wines

If you are not in the mood for red or white wine, you can settle for orange or amber wine. Despite its name, this wine does not comprise oranges. Instead, it is made from white grapes which have macerated on their skins.

Though this sounds technical, remember that when making white wine, the skin is separated from grapes immediately.

Leaving the skin and juice in contact makes the wine inherit some savory notes, structure, and tannin. This is what defines orange wine.

Orange wine makes the perfect combination to the seasonal vegetables of spring-like carrots and asparagus. This is because the vegetables heighten the mineral-driven, earthy flavors of the wine. Orange wine is bold and robust. It has honeyed aromas of hazelnut, jackfruit, dried orange rind, wood varnish, juniper, linseed oil, bruised apple and sourdough. On the palate, the wine is dry with a tannin that resembles that of red wine.

With the above wines in your cellar, you can be sure that springtime will be a blast for you. When serving the wines, the temperature is among the crucial aspects to consider. Remove rose and white wines from the fridge about fifteen minutes before you serve them.

View from Kings Estate Winery
View from Kings Estate Winery, Washington state.

This enhances their flavors while giving them a crisp mouthfeel. Red wines can be left in the fridge for about thirty minutes before you serve them to heighten their floral flavors. Be careful not to overchill wines in spring because this can make them lose their delicate notes.

It can be hard to get the right wine for your spring party or when relaxing and enjoying the warm weather alone. To guarantee you get it right, try the wine before buying it or match your choice to the food you want to pair it with.

You need not stick to the same wines each spring. Introduce your guests and your palates to new wines. 

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