Spring Wines and Ideas for Mothers’ Day
March is here, with thoughts of spring (I’m always an optimist!) and Mother’s Day is only two weeks way so it’s time to think of gifts and vibrant refreshing wines to accompany a special lunch.
It’s not quite warm enough for the lighter white wines from around the world but time to crack open some of the more robust full flavoured wines. If you like Loire Valley wines why not try a Coteaux Giennois with its leafy more rounded yet still tangy with asparagus notes. Alternatively, try a Gruner Veltliner from New Zealand with a lovely crisp refreshing ripe fruit flavour. It makes a great alternative to Sauvignon or Pinot Gris.
The South of France is a great source of distinctive white wines that won’t break the bank. Look out for some of the latest unoaked Chardonnays – no longer the oaky styles nor the broad slightly earthy wines but fresh tasting wines with pure fruit flavours that have a lovely mouth filling texture such as that made from Calmel & Joseph in the Languedoc Roussillon. Seifried Estate in Nelson in New Zealand make an unoaked Chardonnay that is full of fresh citrussy rounded fruit and a lovely aperitif or accompaniment to light fish and salad dishes.
Some of the really enjoyable wines I’ve tried recently have been made in Spain from the Albarino or Godello grape. The latter makes lovely mouthfilling yet refreshing wines in Galicia whereas Albarino produces a crisp refreshing wine when made from fruit grown near the coast or a textured peachy mouthfilling wine from grapes grown inland and is delicious with fish dishes. Small amounts of Albarino are now also found in New Zealand – try the wine for Esk Valley in Hawkes Bay – really great alternative to Sauvignon and Viognier.
There also examples of unoaked wines from the Southern Hemisphere that fit this bill – look out for the aromatic Torrontes from Argentina and some apply fruity Chenin Blancs from South Africa that are also often blended with other grape varieties and offering great value from circa £8 per bottle. Pinot Gris from New Zealand is great too with styles ranging from crisp and dry to softly fruity with a hint of sweetness.
This year’s rosé wines are also now appearing. They are eye catching in all shades of pink but the best for this time of year are those that are slightly darker hues with a correlating deeper flavour for days when you don’t want a white wine, yet a red may be too much. Wineries in the Costieres de Nimes region in the Rhone Valley make rounded robust yet fresh rose wines. It’s also worth trying Spanish rosados including those from Cune – they’re great food wines.
We’re in to Grenache too, whether it’s a fresh fruity rose from the Languedoc or in a full red blend from there too, a delicious full layered Spanish Garnacha or stylish Aussie versions with hints of peppery spicy fruit amongst the soft strawberry notes.
Don’t forget Mother’s Day this Sunday and wine makes a great gift on this occasion so why not use the above as inspiration to buy a carefully chosen bottle of wine to accompany your Mother’s Day lunch or choose one of the many sparkling wines & Champagnes that are available in their own gift boxes – ready to give to your Mum!
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