April showers bring lighter wines and eventually, May flowers. Here are a number of terrific wines with zesty bright flavours for spring fare. They'll pair with salads, seafood shellfish and a wide variety of lighter dishes we enjoy in the spring.
I try to keep my selections global, though I always have a soft spot for Canadian wines as we do so well with our own styles, and especially wines that work well with spring due to our cool climate. Enjoy!
The Hogue Cellars Genesis Riesling
Columbia Valley, Washington State, United States: Love it! White flowers, white peach, lime and petrol (this is good) on the nose. Vibrant and juicy on the palate. Packs a punch flavour-wise even though it's medium-bodied. Ultra food-friendly from seafood to roast chicken. Just a touch of sweetness but it's hard to pick up with the great acidity. Drink: 2012-2016. 309666 12.10% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 93/100.
Tangley Oaks Chardonnay 2010
Sonoma Coast, California, United States: A lemon zest chardonnay that's focused and medium- to full-bodied. Not really buttery or oaky, more citrus fruit driven. Great for roast chicken. Pair with: grilled pork dish, seafood salad featuring crab, lobster, scallops, shrimp and octopus. Drink: 2012-2016. 311589 13.90% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100.
Fielding Estate Riesling 2011
V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: White peach, light petrol and white floral notes on this very pretty white. Great mouth-watering acidity for seafood and shellfish. Medium-bodied and delightful. Also works as an aperitif. Drink: 2012-2016. 251439 10.50% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100.
Spice Route Chenin Blanc 2011
W.O., Western Cape, South Africa: A lovely, aromatic white with peach and pear blossom. Medium-bodied and mouth-filling with some balancing acidity that's great for chicken and pork. Pair with: lightly grilled chicken. Drink: 2012-2015. 174623 14% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100.
Mcpherson Basilisk Shiraz Mourvèdre 2010
Central Victoria, Australia: Gorgeous, mouth-watering aromas and flavours of black and luscious purple plums. Blackberries, fleshy ripe, roll over your tongue. Full-bodied and supple and endless. Drink: 2013-2017. 289926 14% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 93/100.
Tenuta Rocca Ornati Langhe 2006
D.O.C., Piedmont, Italy: Savoury, meaty, dry and delicious! Dark red fruit, dark spices, smoke and dried herbs. A terrific wine for many meaty dishes or pasta with tomato sauce. Great price for such quality. Pair with: homemade tagliatelle and veal ragú, grilled pork sausages. Drink: 2013-2017. 309369 14% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 91/100.
Bodegas Balbás Ardal Crianza Bodegas Alitus 2005
Do Ribera Del Duero, Spain: Lovely! A blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that's both savoury and delicious at an amazingly great price. Aromas of dark cherry, smoke, and dried herbs. Layers of pleasure give rise to happiness (on the second glass). Superb craftsmanship. Pair with: thick barbecued porterhouse steak. Drink: 2013-2018. 167601 14% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100.
Sileni The Plateau Pinot Noir 2011, Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand
Rich cherry fruit that's not heavy but I also like that there's not too much acidity. Round and ready when you are. Medium- to full-bodied and luscious. Perfect for juicy roast chicken or the tarry darkness of grilled chicken. Pair with: salmon steaks. Drink: 2013-2016. 132142 13.50% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100.