Spring in your cellar
Lighter wines refresh the palate.
As April blossoms, it’s time to put a little spring back in your step and your wines. Swap the Port and Cab for some Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Drink lighter; feel lighter.
Wines with higher acid tend to cleanse the palate, just as a squeeze of lemon does when added to food. These wines also make you salivate, which often increases your appetite for food. This is why many white wines (think Champagne or sparkling wine) are served as apperifs before a meal.
White wines that rate at the top of my list for spring are Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Champagne or sparkling wine, Grüner Veltliner, Albariño, Muscadet, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.
Reds include Sangiovese, lighter styles of Nebbiolo, Loire Valley Cabernet Franc from Bourgueil or Chinon, and Pinot Noir from Burgundy or Oregon.
The common element: Their grapes are grown in cooler areas.
Dr. Loosen Red Slate 2013 dry Riesling, Mosel, Germany — $15.49
Ernst Loosen is one of Germany’s greatest wine producers. This wine’s acid is very high and loaded with notes of minerality and a slight petrol aroma, plus zesty lemon, pear and Granny Smith apples.
Champalou Vouvray 2014 Chenin blanc, Loire Valley, France — $23.99
High acid is Vouvray’s middle name; it is refreshing and lively with bruised apple flavors and Bosc pear. Chalky soils contribute a beautiful mineral character to this wine.
Antinori Pèppoli 2012 Chianti Classico, Sangiovese, Tuscany, Italy — $30.99
It’s harder to find red wines with higher levels of refreshing acidity, but Tuscany nails it with this tart morello cherry-meets-lemon red wine. It’s great with marinara and Bolognese sauces.