A friend who lives in Chicago says that spring does not officially start until he can take his grill out of storage and fire it up. If the weather forecast holds true, Saturday will be the day.
The temperature is expected to reach 78 degrees, a pair of perfectly seasoned lamb chops will go on the grill, and my buddy and his wife will open a bottle of Braxton Hall Melange Red, a sublime cuvee from California.
That wine is part of the 2017 Spring Reds and Rosés Collection curated specifically for the spring by Vinesse — a trio of wines that speak to the season through their less-intense tannin structures and easy-drinking personalities.
After a long (and we do mean long) winter, during which many of us warmed our souls with “big” wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, spring brings an opportunity to get reacquainted with “smoother” varieties like Merlot and more refreshing styles like rosé.
Personally, I’m already mentally planning our first picnic of the season — a selection of cold cuts, cheeses, crackers and nuts, along with a chilled bottle of Alerys Rosé from Spain. It’ll be like an outdoor version of visiting a Barcelona tapas bar.
Spring is an important season in the world of wine. It’s when the vines awaken after their winter nap, and a new growing season begins. Weather patterns in spring can have an impact on the output of the vines come harvest time.
Likewise, for wine drinkers, spring is the season of renewal — a time to embrace wines that may have been “hibernating” over the winter, and to think about lighter food-and-wine pairing possibilities.
Earl Hull, a media mogul of the 1940s, once suggested that “science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day.” This Saturday in Chicago, I expect my grilling friend will be in full agreement.