Brisk spring days call for crisp, fruity white wines
Spring's official arrival invariably brings brisk, sunny days aplenty. Spending time outside amidst invigorating weather has an uncanny way of working up a powerful hunger and thirst. Satisfy your appetites by pairing crisp white wines with tasty dishes.
White wines with little or no oak-barrel aging work best. The wines put pure, natural fruitiness in the spotlight to arouse the senses and make food taste better. Try the following:
The 2012 Domaine du Salvard, Cheverny, France (Luxury 48141; $14.99) comes from sauvignon blanc and chardonnay grapes grown in one of the Loire Valley's lesser known appellations.
Until 1993, French wine authorities classified the Cheverny area as a V.D.Q.S. — or Vin de Qualité Superieur — a step below the more prestigious A.O.C. — or Appellation d'origine contrôlée. But thanks to the efforts of folks like the Delaille Family, owners of Domaine du Salvard since 1898, Cheverny's reputation blossomed with consumers. French authorities eventually relented and gave the area A.O.C. recognition.
Brothers Emmanuel and Thierry Delaille cultivate Domaine de Salvard's 90 acres of vines in sand, clay and limestone northeast of the city of Tours. Like wines from better-known appellations, such as Sancerre, Cheverny whites deliver distinctive freshness and vibrancy.
This wine's straw color unfolds forward grapefruit and green-quince aromas. Ripe grapefruit and guava flavors layer with laser-like acidity and uplifting, fresh mineral notes. The wine finishes dry, yet fruity. Pair it with spring asparagus wrapped with smoked salmon and baked at low temperatures until the salmon turns crispy. Highly recommended.
The delicious 2012 Mercouri Estate Foloi, Peloponnese, Greece (Luxury 46785; $14.99) comes from a family-owned Greek winery that's been in business over 150 years. The estate, which also produces a highly regarded cold-pressed olive oil, lies on a plateau on the western part of the Peloponnesian Peninsula, just inland from the Mediterranean Sea.
This wine relies on indigenous roditis, a light pink-skinned grape, as well as a small dose of the aromatic viognier. Even though the wine ferments in oak barrels, fruitiness plays front and center.
White-flower and lemon aromas lead to lemon and herbal flavors with a deft touch of oak. Fresh acidity balances the dry finish. Pair it with fresh goat's cheese and black Greek olives. Recommended.
The 2012 Loimer Lois Grüner Veltliner, Niederösterreich, Austria (Luxury 39158; $15.99) carries a subtle, yet eye-catching, light-green hue signaling the wine's essential freshness. Winemaker Fred Loimer buys grüner veltliner grapes from leading Austrian producers who farm with organic concepts in mind.
The fruit ferments in stainless steel to capture freshness. Ripe apple and citrus aromas mingle with white pepper notes, a characteristic distinct to grüner veltliner. Ripe, ample fruit flavors balance beautifully with rich acidity.
Pair the wine with creamy cheeses such as fresh asiago and runny camembert. The screw cap makes for easy opening. Highly recommended.
The 2011 Raventós i Blanc Silencis, Penedès, Spain (Luxury 46937; $18.99) comes from a family owned estate that has grown grapes in Catalonia since 1497. Today, Manuel and Pepe Raventós hold the reins. The latter trained as a winemaker in Madrid before gaining experience in other notable terroirs with the likes of Didier Dagenau in Pouilly Fumé (Loire Valley, France), Olivier Lamy at St. Aubin (Burgundy, France), and Harald Hexamer in the Nahe (Germany).
This wine derives from xarel·lo (pronounced shuh-REL-o), a local grape typically blended in sparking Cava wines. But when cultivated on its own for dry white wine, xarel·lo can deliver terrific results.
The golden color's enthralling peach and citrus aromas open to rich apple and peach flavors. Zesty acidity melds with the creamy texture to frame an elegant, dry finish. Pair it with steamed shrimp with smoky Spanish paprika. Recommended.
The 2012 Maison Verget “Terres de Pierres” Bourgogne Blanc, France (Luxury 48275; $19.99) offers a lovely rendition of chardonnay grown in some of Burgundy's best vineyards in the Mâcon subregion. The chalky, rocky ground —“Terres de Pierres” means “stony soils” — produce grapes with pure fruit and racy acidity.
Aromas of ripe apples and smoky mineral notes open to crisp apple and pear flavors. Creamy notes balance the refreshing, dry finish. Pair it with baby endive and pickled red beets with walnuts and blue cheese. Recommended.
Dave DeSimone writes about wine for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Web-savvy terrorists have success luring U.S. recruits with social media
- North Side toymaker Digital Dream Labs starts strong in 1st holiday season
- Pitt’s surge goes for naught as No. 11 Purdue prevails
- Stylish, inexpensive dress takes television newsrooms by storm
- Monessen Civic Center to host ‘Christmas Show’
- Pirates showing interest in starting pitcher Masterson
- Automakers feast on deals in November
- Mt. Pleasant Area School Board puts limit on taxes for 2016-17
- Pittsburgh City Council advances $1M study of buildings
- Overseas data, financial shares lead stocks to strong December start
- Believe in Connellsville contest begins