Spring Forward With Lighter Wines

At long last, spring will arrive tomorrow, and any remaining snow on the ground will melt, immediately replaced by bright, colorful flowers.

Okay, okay. While the town of Lake Elsinore, Calif., may have provided a preview of spring renewal with its carpeting of California poppies, I realize there are some parts of the country that are waiting to thaw out from a most brutal winter — not to mention some that thawed out too quickly and experienced massive flooding.

To all impacted by this anything-but-smooth seasonal transition, all of us at Vinesse send our best wishes.

As the winter chill gives way to warmer temperatures in most locales, many of us start thinking about eating “lighter” fare. Instead of beef stew, we may opt for a chicken casserole. Instead of meatloaf, we may broil a nice halibut fillet.

Lighter dishes really “spring” to life — pun intended — when they’re accompanied by lighter wines. One of my favorite springtime wines is Gewurztraminer, and since some are a bit timid when it comes to a wine that is so challenging to pronounce, I suggest calling it by its nickname, which is pronounced Guh-vertz. Do that, and you’ll be able to order it with everything from Asian fare to Tex-Mex cuisine. Gewurztraminer, you see, is one of the few wines that can handle spicy food.

It’s also good with wienerschnitzel and a twist of lemon, seafood dishes and salads.

Other springtime favorites include Riesling, which pairs perfectly with Thai fare… Sauvignon Blanc, a great partner for seafood dishes (particularly shellfish)… Chenin Blanc, my favorite wine with pork chops and even sweet-and-sour pork… and rosé-style wines, which can be enjoyed with everything from burgers (now that spring has arrived, can grilling season be far behind?) to Italian fare with tomato-based sauces, or simply savored solo.

The 17th-century American poet, Anne Bradstreet, once observed, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” So here’s to a prosperous spring, filled with wonderful food, wonderful wine… and much milder weather.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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