5 Patio Wines to Welcome Spring
Enjoy these Spring Food-Friendly Wines
As Winter breaks into Spring Equinox on March 20, we dust off our patio furniture, fire up the barbeque grill, and pour a refreshing glass of wine. Warm weather begs a chilled and food-friendly glass of wine that pairs with our Spring cuisine. Consider these 5 Wine Wanderings patio wine suggestions for your Spring patio menu brought to you from around the world: France, New Zealand, Spain, and the USA.
Sauvignon Blanc and Fumé Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc placed New Zealand on the wine map for the last few decades. It is also famous as a Sancerre in France or part of the blend of grapes in a White Bordeaux. Robert Mondavi gave Fumé Blanc its name, but basically it is a Sauvignon Blanc that has some oak and smoky influence.
James Suckling, 93 Points, $25
Tasting Notes: This wine has complex aromatics of white peach, lime, basil, and lemon blossom. Flavors of nectarine and citrus carry this refined chalky and dry finish.
Food Pairing: Cheese, green vegetables, oysters, fresh herbs, delicate fish, and dishes with tangy ingredients pair well with Sauvignon Blanc.
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Dry Provence-style rosé
Dry Rosé is the darling of the summer wine categories. The original dry rosés came from the South of France in Provence, and are predominantly made from Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Syrah grapes. Currently these same rosé styles are made around the world including many produced in the US. This brand is one of the most popular rosé wines in the world. What a label, too!
Photo Rock Angel
2020 Château d’Esclans Rock Angel Rose, Côtes de Provence, France
James Suckling, 92 Points, $40
Tasting Notes: A critically acclaimed rosé with tart minerality and lilac, strawberry, rose petals, citrus, and vanilla flavors.
Food Pairing: A wide range of foods pair well with dry rosés including: barbeque, grilled meats, salmon, and chicken. For more information on rosé as a year-round wine of choice, see “Premium Rosé: Now a Year-Round Favorite,” November 2022.
Albarino is the most successful white wine of Spain and Portugal. It is now being grown in the US and around the world. Typically, Albarino is from the Rias Baixas region of Spain and the Northern region of Portugal where the grape is called Alvarinho.
James Suckling, 92 points, $17
Tasting Notes: This wine has a cooked apple, spicy pear, salty mineral, and dried citrus peel character. It is medium bodied and balanced with a terrific texture and freshness.
Food Pairing: Seafood is the logical and historic pairing for a coastal wine like Albarino. Cod, shrimp, crab cakes, tuna, scallops, halibut, linguine, and clams come to mind as perfect pairing. Throw a Albarino-and-paella party to bring out the best in this wine.
Pinot Gris is grown in some spectacular wine regions like Willamette Valley, Oregon; Northern Italy; and Alsace, France. Pinot Grigio is the Italian name for the same grape.
2021 Sokol Blosser Estate Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Wine Enthusiast, 91 Points, $27
The 2018 vintage brings aromas of honeysuckle to this aromatic wine. Notes of mineral, ripe white peach, rose petal, and lemon zest frame the flavors of Bartlett pear and pineapple. Willamette Valley is a terrific place (as is Alsace, France) to find quality Pinot Gris. For more on Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and early Oregon wine pioneer, Sokol Blosser, see “Touring Oregon’s Willamette Valley Wine Country.”
Food Pairing: Duck is an excellent pairing with Pinot Gris. Pork, grilled meats, charcuterie, soft cheeses, vegetables, salmon, halibut, and trout are also good choices for Pinot Gris/Grigio.
Red Zinfandel is the grape that originally was thought to have been native to California. This jammy wine is perfect for the red meat and BBQ patio fare we enjoy in the Spring.
2019 Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel, California
Wine Enthusiast, 91 points, $35
Tasting Notes: Lush flavors of dried fruit, light raisin, pepper and spice aromas, and jammy flavors make this wine a favorite for casual picnic food pairing. Ridge has been known for their high quality red Zinfandel wine for a long time.
Food Pairing: Grab the hamburgers, steaks, grilled pork, and barbeque. This Red Zin will stand up to all the spicy ingredients you bring to the picnic table.
Let’s welcome friends and family to the patio with these food-friendly wines, and toast the beginning of Spring. Cheers!
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