If you hadn't already been feeling it, the recent Easter Bank Holiday really signalled loud and clear that we're fully into the swing of Spring. The arrival of a little warm sun, the blossom on the trees and daffodils in the fields can be a real mood changer.
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.
The warmer the weather, the more we look for refreshment in our drinks so we've chosen 6 of our favourite white wines which reflect the freshness of spring, the thought of adventures to come, as well as offering a little excitement for your palate.
We're starting off in Sicily and this organic wine from Sibiliana Vini - one of the largest wineries in the region - is full of Sicilian character, even when using a more international grape like Chardonnay. Plus they punch well above their price tag in terms of quality. Forget about clumsy over-oaked styles of the past, this is a clean, bright and fruity Chardonnay, full of green apple citrus and soft honeydew melon. If you're looking for a food pairingy, there's a tasty looking chicken, avocado and bacon salad recipe by Mary Berry that fits the bill.
Mora & Memo, Tino Vermentino Di Sardegna 2020
Next we're hopping over to Sardinia, the second largest island of Italy after Sicily, for a taste of the Mediterranean. This wonderful wine has long been a staff favourite here, and you only have to look at the bottle to begin to appreciate its unique charms. The winery is the passion of Elisabetta Pala, whose dream is to make wines able to express her character and her land in the South East corner of Sardinia where she grows Vermentino and Cannonau (the local name for Grenache) among other native grape varieties. Her 'Tino' has had a little skin contact and time on its lees which adds body to the grapefruit and citrus fruit of this subtly complex and herbaceous wine. You might notice thyme and rosemary notes too which, along with the citrus, make it ideal for pairing with seafood stew like this Sardinian cassola.
Keeping to a Mediterranean theme (can you tell I'm itching to go on holiday?) we introduce Domaine Fiumicicoli (pronounced phew-me-chikoli). This lies at the heart of Corse Sartène appellation in the south of Corsica on slopes just inland from the coast which benefit from a cooler mountain climate, preserving the freshness of the grapes.
Their delightfully aromatic organic white has fresh herbaceous scents of fennel and lemon balm. The ripe Vermentino fruit is very pure with a wonderful elegance and minerality, followed by a pleasingly long and fresh pithy finish. Slightly savoury, flavoursome and very satisfying. It'd be lovely with a spring vegetable risotto.
Emile Balland, Coteaux du Giennois Blanc 2020
Next up we visit France's Loire valley for a splash of Emile Balland's delicate, elegant Sauvignon Blanc from Coteaux du Giennois. If ever there was a Sauvignon Blanc for Spring it's this. The weight of gooseberry and citrus fruit is just enough and it has an almost Sancerre-like minerality due to the chalky, flinty soils of the region. Emile started his tiny winery in 1999 but his family have been making wines in the Loire since 1650 and that pedigree shows here. It's crying out to be enjoyed with new season asparagus and goat's cheese.
L'Arche de Loire, Chenin Blanc IGP 2018
We stay in the Loire valley to enjoy another of the region's key grape varieties - the crisp and fresh, delicate apple and citrus fruits of Chenin Blanc. This one is a modern dry white with refreshing zingy acidity made by Guilbaud Frères. Over 4 generations the brothers have been making wine at vineyards across the Loire and are known for a particular attention to detail and tradition while not turning their back to progressive ways of winemaking. I'd want to drink this with fish tacos drizzled in freshly squeezed lime juice.
Siegel, Handpicked Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2021
Finally we plot an adventure to Chile for an alternative Sauvignon Blanc experience. Where Emile Balland offered a delicate minerality, Siegel offer intense tropical fruits. This is a very juicy and drinkable Sauvignon Blanc from Chile's Curicó Valley just south of Colchagua. The warmer climate creates bolder, riper fruit flavours that also make me think of alfesco dining and sharing small plates of big garlicky prawns or chargrilled squid with friends.
If you like the sound of these wines and can see yourself sipping a glass or two in your home or garden, we've put together a ready-to-go case with a nice discount which you can find here.