Published on April 6, 2018 | by Alastair Gilmour


The best wines to drink in spring

Hooray, we’re officially in the midst of spring and the promise of longer days, new blooms and some sunshine. While in this seasonal transition between the arrival of the warming sun and the departure of snow (which still lingers at the time of writing), we might find ourselves in a quandary over which wine to match with which food.

There is a French expression which sums up the perfect spring wine in just three little words: vin de soif. This phrase describing “a wine to quench your thirst” is all about great-tasting, easy-drinking bottles that you want to guzzle with reckless abandon. Perfect for this time of year.

With that in mind, here are our picks of the wines to enjoy this spring. But of course the most important thing to remember about wine is that it should be fun. Use our guide as a navigation tool to steer through the world of wine – no two wines are the same, so take time to experiment and try new things.

It’s the lighter, fruitier styles of red that succeeds in spring, such as Pinot Noir. While this grape is traditionally from Burgundy, we suggest looking globally to find your favourite, with Australia and New Zealand producing some particularly excellent Pinots. Our choice would be McPherson Wine’s MWC Pinot Noir with red fruit notes on the nose, leading to soft tannins and some medium acidity. A great wine to serve with a fresh salad.

Or why not try a chilled New Zealand Pinot Noir which would pair perfectly with spring lamb. And, if the weather warms up, pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes and serve slightly chilled – it’ll be a revelation!

Some Cabernet Sauvignons and Riojas – particularly a Joven – would also be ideal but be sure to check the wine’s tasting notes. The clues you’re looking for are “fruity”, “light”, “sweet”. On the other hand, if the weather changes or you’re looking to indulge while gorging on left-over Easter egg or chocolate cake, a sumptuous, luxurious red is what you seek. Look for a peppery Shiraz or Zinfandel, then sit back and enjoy in sumptuous splendour. Whether you share or not is up to you.

There are so many great white wines around that include increasingly interesting and quirky varieties, and there’s no better way to greet spring than with a glass of something chilled. The changeable weather of spring creates the perfect opportunity to try something bold and punchy – so perhaps an oaked Chardonnay or a savoury Pinot Gris instead of a lighter Pinot Grigio.

Albariño is Spain’s feted seafood white, which comes from Galicia in the North West of the country. It has the intensity to cope with most light fish dishes, making it a good wine to choose in fish restaurants.

Riesling tends to polarise wine drinkers – some love it, some hate it. There’s no denying though that its crisp, fresh flavours and modest levels of alcohol it makes perfect spring sipping. Germany is the traditional home of Riesling, but for something a little different head to Washington State in the US for Charles & Charles Riesling or even Australia for McPherson Wine’s La Vue Riesling – both outstanding wines and very different examples of the same grape variety.

Not usually a rosé drinker? Now’s the perfect time to try something different – there’s nothing wrong with a glass of sweet White Zinfandel, but it’s not the only rosé on offer. For the perfect drink on a warm day, try a chilled glass of Princess Butterfly sparkling Moscato while catching up with friends in the beer garden. With a slight spritz and only 7.0% abv, it’s incredibly easy to drink.

Meanwhile, in the US, winemaker Charles Bieler is pioneering rosé – at a time when rosé was considered unfashionable, Bieler travelled America in a pink Cadillac to beat the drum for the style. This rosé is now available in the UK under the Charles & Charles brand, with Bieler’s passion evident – the aromatic wine has flavours of raspberries and cherries. It’s a highly recommended wine and one worth seeking out this spring.

*All wines mentioned in this article are available through Lanchester Wines. Ask your bar staff for more details. www.lanchesterwines.co.uk

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Alastair Gilmour

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