It's common knowledge at this point that rosé is the quintessential adult beverage of summertime. And while it's totally cool to sip whatever you like during any season, you might just find that, during certain times of the year, some wines are just more enjoyable — based on the temperature and the food you tend to eat more of, among other factors. For instance, you might find that you've been cozying up with hearty reds more frequently this winter, or that you gravitate toward bubbles during the holiday season. In the same way, the best spring wines earned their reputation for a reason, as many wine connoisseurs will tell you.
So many old fashioned ideas about wine have been debunked in recent years (for example, canned wine can be pretty darn amazing, actually.), but there are some general tips that can totally enhance your drinking experience. As a certified sommelier, teacher, consultant, and author of The Unfiltered Guide to Working in Wine, it's literally Hillary Zio's job to stay abreast on what's going on in the world of wine. That said, she's well versed in both the classics and more modern takes when it comes to sipping the stuff, and for her money, some bottles just fare better than others depending on the season. So, if you're looking to try something besides your go-to summer rosé come spring, check out her five suggestions for options that are not only tasty, but available at even the most affordable price points.
Chardonnay fans might consider switching over to something lighter and brighter for the spring season. "In warmer weather, most of us can handle an acidity upgrade, helping to quench our thirst," Zio explains. "Generally speaking, this means looking to cooler climate wine regions of the world like the Loire Valley in France or Rheingau, Germany. Grapes planted here tend to retain acidity best due to the lower temperatures during the day, respectively."
Dry Styles Of Bubbly
You never need a celebration to break open a bottle of bubbles, so a lovely spring day is as good an excuse as any. And if you want to experiment with something different than your usual Champagne or prosecco, follow Zio's advice for a little change-up. "Lately I've been into dry bubbly from lesser known wine-producing regions like the UK or New Mexico," she says. "Fortunately, they're often less expensive than Champagne and the Crémants of France, while still produced in the same, traditional method. This means that the finer bubbles will last longer than most styles of prosecco, for example."
Prefer drinking reds regardless of the season? Look for varietals that are a bit softer on your palette. "I like to enjoy lighter styles of red wine for spring, such as Gamay or Pinot Noir," offers Zio. "These grapes have a lower skin-to-pulp ratio, which means they have less tannin. Typically, low-tannin wines pair phenomenally with spring’s seasonal ingredients and lighter dishes. I like to save high-tannin Cabernet and Syrah for meat and sauce heavy dishes that we usually enjoy during the winter."
Don't worry, spring is still a great time to sip rosé, but Zio recommends swapping the summer-friendly styles for something with a little more substance. "Classic styles from Provence are generally quite light and perfect for summer," she says. "For spring, look for a dry rosé from Spain or Southern Italy. These slightly warmer climates are known to produce a pink wine with weight."
Orange just might actually be the new pink — in the wine world, that is. "Orange wine is simply white wine with some skin contact," Zio explains. "I’ve found that it’s is the perfect answer to spring’s seasonal vegetables like asparagus and carrots, due to the earth and mineral-driven flavors that often arise. You might also find that tannin in your white wine can be rather comforting on a rainy spring day."