Now we're into March, the clocks have gone forward and spring time is upon us at last.
Whilst there's still a slight chill in the air, we thought what better time than to focus on some perfect wines for Spring - lighter styles that can bring us into the warmer months.
Venturing back out into the garden, enjoying the parks in full bloom and planning your summer holidays - it has an aura of optimism and new beginnings. So it's no surprise that it can also have an effect on the kind of wine we choose to drink.
Get FREE Delivery on our Spring Favourites Mixed Case
The warmer the weather, the more we look for refreshment in our drinks so we've chosen a selection of wines we're looking forward to enjoying this season which reflect the freshness of spring, the thought of adventures to come, as well as offering a little excitement for your palate.
These range from some fresh juicy Gamay to Austrian Gruner and are great to pair with spring salads and lamb - and if we're really lucky with the weather, even the BBQ in the garden...
New Spring Arrivals
Spring is a great opportunity to enjoy some lighter dishes and with the Easter tradition of eating Fish on good friday you'll want some wines that will delight with flavour but not over power the food. So here are a couple of fresh wines that will definitely be in our fridges this easter.
Funkstille Gruner Veltliner, 12.5%, Austria
The time is right to really get into Gruner. We'll be taking a closer look at this grape and all things Austrian next month, but we couldn't keep this one under wraps until then. As an introduction to the grape variety, this is just about perfect. It's bright and juicy and effortless to enjoy. The nose has aromas of ripe pear and fresh citrus flavours with subtle exotic hints. On the palate it's nicely textured with flavours of melon and grapefruit leading to a refreshing, zippy finish.
If you're thinking of cooking some grilled fish like this Barbecued bream with spring onions, lemon & chilli recipe on BBC food, this Gruner would be a great pairing.
Muscadet is one of our go-to dry whites. We love introducing people to this charming wine. "La Roche Blanche" is a lovely example with beautiful minerality, honey and grapefruit notes on the nose. The palate is round with orange pith and lemony acidity giving freshness and leading to a light crisp finish with some crystaline minerality and reasonable length. This is for those that like it very dry and is a perfect match with Moules Frites with a zesty side salad or how about with crispy cod and garlic butter.
Spring Ready Wines Back in stock
Waterkloof, Circumstance Cape Coral Mourvedre Rose, 14%, South Africa
The extra warmth in the sunshine has us reaching for the rose too. This delightfully pale, dry rosé is another terrific wine from the team at Waterkloof in South Africa. It uses the Mourvedre grape which is a real star for them and here they've made it into a really elegant, dry wine that shows delicate aromas of pomegranates and raspberries with a little flintiness. There’s finesse on the palate with flavours of soft red fruits, a gentle silky texture and a lingering fresh acidity on the finish.
This is a versatile wine to pair with, so you could enjoy a glass with seared salmon or just as easily a slice of easter ham.
Uva non Grata, Gamay, 12.5%, France
If you'd prefer a red to pair with your ham, this wine is one to go for. One look at the label and you know this French wine isn't beholden to tradition. This is gorgeous Gamay at its best. Bouncy, crunchy Gamay. This grape is really having a moment as more people discover what a no-fuss, irresistible fruit bomb it can be, packed with amazing primary fruit aromas, delicious soft red berry flavours, juicy acidity and soft tannins. Ideal for pairing with that salty meat.
A cute story about this one - apparently Gamay was outlawed by Philip the Bold in 1395, but some rebellious vigernons secretly planted some among the Pinot Noir vines to keep it alive.
Amie Rouge Carignan, 12.5%, France
Another red wine we're keen to enjoy this Spring is from newcomer, Amie. The latest vintage of this favourite from last year is lighter in body, and lower alcohol, but still full of easy charm. It's a well-rounded and elegant red wine produced in the Languedoc, south of France. Made from 100% Carignan, from vines that are over 30-years-old, it's only 12.5% but boy does it have some serious flavour. Absolutely bursting with blackberry, blackcurrants, red fruits, a beautiful jammy feel throughout, and an elegant, soft finish.
You could enjoy this with veggie sausages and lentils or if you're going for a vegan centrepiece easter dish like this incredible looking beetroot and red onion tarte tatin it would work perfectly with the vibrant, juicy fruits and light tannins of the this red.
Easter food pairing tips.
There are lots of other foods eaten over spring time and of course one of the stars is British lamb, which has been a staple of this country's farming since the Roman times.
Spring lamb is delicate and served up slightly pink, so when picking your pairing here you aren't going to want to go for a really heavy red with lots of tannins. Going for a vibrant wine like the Amie above or a pinot noir would be our choice, with its juicy red fruits, light tannins, fresh acidity and a hint of savoury spice which you can find really works well.
If you are keen to go for a bigger, richer red, then you'll want to think about a different cut. A lamb shoulder which has been slowly braised so the fat melts in your mouth with a rich red wine jus is where you can bring out the big guns. We'd go with the Palacio del Camino Real, Rioja Reserva. This is a proper crowd pleaser - ripe fruit accompanied by complex spicy and balsamic notes with a slight touch of vanilla. Nicely balanced on the palate with well integrated tannins. This has enough weight to balance out the richness of the sauce and melt-in-your-mouth braised lamb.
If white's more your thing, then a great option is this Painted Wolf, Pictus VI Chenin blanc. This will match up great with a variety of dishes. If you were going for a traditional honey glaze roast ham or something like salmon en croute, the rich, ripe peach and apricot fruit with its creamy texture would work perfectly.
Asparagus is back in season and absolutely loves being paired with one of the most popular white grape varieties out there - Sauvignon blanc. The key here is crisp, dry white wine with good acidity and no oak to balance the freshness of the Asparagus. France' Loire Valley is top of our list, so maybe a Sancerre or alternatively the Iona Sophie T'Blanche from South Africa is a banger. You could also enjoy this with the Funkstille Gruner Veltliner we mentioned earlier.
Now of course, Easter is also the time for chocolate eggs...
So if you're looking for a wine and chocolate pairing, you'll need something that has a much higher level of sweetness and so it's best to look to something like Tawny port, specifically for us Niepoort, Tawny Dee. With an average age of three and a half years, it still has plenty of luscious fruit, delicate nutty aromas and hints of dried raisin, making it a totally spot-on pairing for milk chocolate.
If you're stocking up for the easter weekend we have a case of our Spring Favourites available with FREE Delivery which you can find here.
You can check out all of our favourite Easter wines in our Spring collection here.