Oh, the joyous days of Spring!! When the lawn is freshly mowed, previously dormant trees in the yard are bursting with blossoms, and children are heard laughing and playing in the nearby park, I crave wines that exude the carefree mood of Spring. Yes, a new season is in full bloom and easygoing wines for pairing are ready to be swirled, sipped, and savored. How great is that?
Wines that are flavorful, yet lighter in body and texture are my go-to choices to sip throughout the season of new beginnings and re-awakenings. Reviewed below are six wines (all sent as samples) that can be paired with your favorite foods of spring as well as those activities that make you feel, well, happy-go-lucky. And one of those things is finding delicious wines that are also budget-friendly – all of the selections are under $20. Cheers to Spring!
Locations CA4 – California White Wine
($18.99) – What’s to love about this brilliant blend highlighting Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Viognier, and Roussanne from Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino? Everything! Dave Phinney has once again rocked my world with another quality white wine from his Locations brand. Exuding aromas of honey, peaches, ripe apples, yellow flowers, and toast and flavors of caramel, beeswax, and orchard fruit, the CA4 was a terrific compliment to my light garden salad on the back porch. With pucker-worthy acidity and a creamy, rich mouthfeel, the minerality on the finish was ahhhh-mazing.
Herdade do Esporão Defesa White 2015
($10) – Go for it! It’s high time to try a wine that includes some off-the-beaten-track grapes. From sunny Portugal, Antão Vaz, Arinto, and Roupeiro blend to create a contemporary, elegant profile. Notes of juicy green apple, stone fruit, peaches, and white flowers led to balanced, creamy flavors of peaches, grapefruit, pears, orchard fruit, and a touch of minerality. Delightfully refreshing with crisp acidity and a persistent finish, this is an easygoing wine you’ll appreciate sip after sip.
Planeta Rosé Sicilia DOC 2016
($15.99) – Planeta delivers your first-class wine ticket to Italy with their latest release of Rosé Sicilia DOC 2016. Consisting of 40% Nero d’Avola, Sicily’s signature native grape, and 50% Syrah, the refreshing wine presented aromas of red fruits, red and white flowers, and a snappy minerality. Boasting plenty of mouthwatering acidity and flavors of strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate, and spice, pair a few chilled pours with fresh fish (raw, cooked, whatever!), a fruit salad, a light omelette, or a conversation with your best friend.
Jean-Luc Colombo 2016 Cape Bleue Rosé
($12) – Welcome to France! Crafted using the saignée method, this glorious wine is from grapes grown in vineyards located near Marseille, a coastal city in the south of France. I craved each glorious sniff and sip of this blend, 67% Syrah and 33% Mourvedre. Notes of ripe strawberries, raspberries, rose petals and sea air wafted from the glass. On the palate, elements of fresh cherries, raspberries, and strawberries, spice, and minerality prevailed…leading to a long and clean finish. This wine will be a luscious complement to vegetarian fare (thanks to its high acidity), salad with tender, grilled chicken…and a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea.
Locations I4 – Italian Red Wine
($18.99) – The blend of Negroamara and Nero d’Avola from Puglia and Barbera from Piemonte was rich and bold… a perfect choice to sip with those steaks you’re about ready to pop on the grill or the cheesy lasagna baking in the oven. I found aromas of tingly spice, deep red fruit, earth, evergreen, plums, and vanilla leading to notes of baking spices, blackberries, more plums, and subtle oak on the palate. Balanced with lively acidity and integrated tannins, the I4 from Dave Phinney’s Locations label was barrel aged ten months prior to release. This is a must-find choice.
Trivento Amado Sur 2014
($15) – It’s autumn, not spring, in Argentina right now, but who cares? With this blend of 79% Malbec, 11% Bonarda, and 10% Syrah, you’ll appreciate not only the delicious wine, but the fact that your winter isn’t just around the corner! Mesmerizing aromas of lavender, fresh purple and red fruits, and minerality were simply lovely. On the palate, mouthwatering acidity and gentle tannins were the foundation on which flavors of strawberries, blueberries, plums, earth, and spice were present. And the finish? Spicy! Let’s start that barbecue!
Cheers! ~ Cindy