by Grant Soutar, Restaurant Manager
Winter is over, vines are awakening and temperatures are rising but there is still a crispness to the air and weather is variable. In the last article on seasonal wine choices, we spoke about choosing warm and full bodied wines during the cold months.  We discussed whites like chardonnay and viognier, reds like cabernet and merlot, and roses from Malbec or Syrah.
Now that we are officially into spring, it is a great time to move into something a bit lighter, more aromatic and maybe even something you’ve never tried before.
Here are some suggestions on wines that will match the food and weather during this variable time of year.
White.Sauvignon Blanc:  A crisper varietal to match the crispness of the season.  Aromas of cut grass are a reminder of the work soon to be done. Try something from Sancerre in the Loire Valley. It is crisp and mineral but a bit less “in your face” than the New Zealand style.

Gruner Veltliner (Austria):  A wonderful example of wine from a colder climate and a good substitute for Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris. Austrian examples have bright acidity and flavours of citrus, apple and a hint of spice.
Un-oaked Chardonnay:  Now is the time to try something without wood aging. Chablis is a good option with a crisp, mineral style and little to no oak. You can expect apple, mineral notes and stone fruit flavours that can become honey like with age.
RedNew World Pinot Noir:  Something from the New Zealand’s Central Otago Valley.  These would be soft and fruity with red fruit flavours of raspberry and strawberry. BC’s south coast climate is also great for Pinot Noir. Averill Creek from the Cowichan Valley is a good choice if you want to try something local. This option is $30+ but worth the extra few dollars.

Barbera:  From northern Italy this grape is higher in acidity and lower in tannins than most reds. If you are eating seafood and really want a red wine, this is one you can try.

Gamay Noir:  Try one of the Cru Beaujolais from France, beautiful examples of Gamay wines made in the Burgundy style.

BubbleLambrusco:  Sparkling red wine from Emelia Romania in central Italy. You’ll surprise your friends when they see such a deep, dark purple wine with bubbles. This wine is brightly acidic with red and dark fruit flavours of raspberry, plum, blueberry and light tannins.  

BC Liquor stores have a couple of options at fairly reasonable prices. ($19 to $22)

As I have mentioned previously, there is no wrong choice when it comes to wine rules – if you like it, drink it.   There are just some guidelines to hopefully give you a better experience. If you try some of these suggestions, I would love to hear what you think. Just be careful if you get me started talking about wine and have anywhere you need to be.

April Wine Suggestion:Adorada Rose, California $18.99 at BCLDBFetzer Vineyards introduced this wine in 2017.       Crafted in an aromatic style, reminiscent of a floral fragrance and marketed in a wax draped bottle to emulate a luxury perfume bottle.Winemaker Margaret Leonardi said”we crafted these wines to exhibit the evocative floral aromas usually associated with fragrant perfume. We wanted to change things up a bit.. & to balance the kiss-stained hue of our rose with an unexpected nose of spice & botanicals.”The wine is aromatic with a nose of wild rose and sweet pea and notes of strawberry and honeycomb on the palate. Fruity with good balancing acidity this wine tastes a bit off-dry to start but finishes dry and citrusy.  

Grant SoutarBill Mattick’s Restaurant Manager