The Light Stuff

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White wines are the perfect complement to sunshiny spring daysAlas, we can pack up our wool coats, leather boots and fur-lined gloves. Spring is here! While you’re putting away your wintery frocks, you might want to think about maneuvering those robust reds toward the back of your EuroCave and replacing them with a selection of crisp white wines and perhaps a few dry rosés. Like our wardrobe, food and wine are seasonally driven—although I certainly have no qualms about pulling out a bold Bordeaux to accompany the occasional grilled steak any time of year. If you drink only red wines, pinot noir is a terrific choice to enjoy year-round, as it is the perfect complement to every season. But generally speaking warmer weather equates to cooler wines, making whites much more in vogue. Since chardonnay never goes out of style, I’ve decided to showcase a fine selection of more avant-garde springtime wines, from Spain’s albarino to Italy’s verdicchio. In addition to enjoying some truly distinctive, delightful and refreshing wines, these unique options also offer lots of bang for the buck, so you’ll have plenty of green left over for those to-die-for Manola Blahnik strappy sling backs.

Naked Earth White (France), $9

Produced in Southern France, this organic wine is a blend of primarily grenache (50%) balanced with 35% chardonnay and 15% viognier. The bouquet is quite floral with touches of fresh pears and lime zest. Crisp and dry, flavors of grapefruit, lemon and green apples meld into a well-balanced, refreshing finish. Lovely on its own or enjoyable with grilled fish, creamy cheeses or pasta Alfredo.

Big House Pink (California), $10

This intriguing rosé blend boasts an aromatic nose of bright Bing cherries, cranberry and raspberries with a floral touch. Rich and racy, it is nicely balanced with ripe red berry flavors and a thirst-quenching, smooth finish. While quite pleasant on its own or with simple charcuterie, it is robust enough to drink with barbecued ribs or spicy cuisine.

Mil Piedras Viognier (Argentina), $13

This unoaked viognier from Argentina offers an interesting bouquet of fresh flowers, juicy apricots, lemon zest and a distinct minerally component. On the palate the wine is extremely refreshing and delightfully crisp with flavors of peaches, mango, limestone and a hint of honey and spice. The perfect aperitif or porch-sipping wine, it will also complement goat cheese, lobster, shrimp and scallops.

Andeluna Torrontes (Argentina), $13

Fresh and crisp, this 100% torrontes is Argentina’s white grape claim to fame. Medium bodied and well structured with lively acidity, it is quite fragrant with flowery aromas, grapefruit and apricots. On the palate, the wine offers refreshing flavors of ripe mango, honeysuckle, pineapple and Granny Smith apples. Enjoy with a myriad of foods including grilled fish, chicken and seafood.

Dry Creek Dry Chenin Blanc $13

Mouthwatering aromas of peaches, tropical fruits, honeysuckle and banana leap from the glass of this alluring white. Crisp and refreshing with pleasant acidity, vibrant flavors of honeydew melon, green apples and lemon zest meld into a long, satisfying finish. The ideal companion with raw or grilled oysters or simply alone while relaxing poolside.

Laxas Albarino (Spain) $16

Bright and lively, this Spanish white emits a beautifully classic bouquet of dried apricots, fresh peaches and white flowers. Clean and impeccably balanced, the stone fruit flavors continue on the palate and are accented by pineapple, citrus flavors and a touch of minerality. Lush and dry, this succulent wine can be enjoyed with shellfish, antipasto or roasted chicken.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Rocca delle Macie (Italy) $13

From Tuscany comes this 100% vernaccia that is both elegant and harmonious with refreshingly zippy acidity. Smooth and fresh with scents of citrus fruits, fresh pear, flint and a delicate herbal note, this zesty and delightful wine makes the ideal aperitif and can also be enjoyed with grilled or sautéed veggies, baked fish or roasted chicken.

Pierre Sparr Pinot Blanc (France) $16

This thirst-quenching white from Alsace boasts a bright golden hue with attractive notes of pear, tangerine, lemon peel and limestone. While dry, it has a somewhat creamy texture and rich flavors of nectarine, melons, honey, lime zest and a tinge of spice. Sip this delightful wine with mildly flavored cheeses, salads and steamed shellfish.

Loosen Bros. Riesling (German) $13

This luscious white emits enticing aromas of pears, quava and green apples with a distinctive mineral quality. Elegant and racy, it is refreshingly crisp and well balanced with flavors of limestone, tart green apples, ripe melons and a hint of spice. Enjoy this delectable quaffing wine with Asian cuisine and bold, spicy dishes.

Cline Viognier (California) $11

This appealing white wine boasts benchmark viognier aromas of ripe melons, peaches and orange blossoms with an underlying tinge of vanilla spice. On the palate, it is medium-bodied, lush and round with a mid-palate of apricots, peaches, lemon zest and subtle smokiness. Try this fine selection with grilled seafood or shellfish (especially with fruit salsa), spicy Thai and curry-based dishes.

Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) $14

If crisp, dry and elegant is your style of wine, this is the white for you. The nose and flavors are dominated by zesty lemon and lime with subtle hints of pineapple and freshly cut grass. The zippy acidity and mouthwatering flavors are well integrated and the finish is fresh and clean. It’s divine on its own or would make the perfect match to grilled oysters, rich risotto or creamy pastas.

La Cala Vermentino (Italy) $12

Bursting with brilliant citrus and floral notes, this Sardinian white is sure to tempt your palate with youthful freshness and racy acidity. Delicate yet supple, the refreshing green apple and citrusy flavors marry well with herbal and mineral tones. This is the perfect companion for fresh seafood, simply prepared salads and vegetable dishes.