Get that spring bod (wine bod, of course)
Spring has sprung mofos, and it’s time to shed the layers and show some skin. Skin-contact, we mean. Because when the warmer weather arrives, it’s not bikini bodies we’re interested in – we’re all about those light-bodied wines. From aromatic white wines to delicate red wines and the ever-lovely rosé, here’s six wines that makes the ultimate springtime sippers.
In our opinion, there is no bad time of year for rosé. But there’s just something about sipping this rosy little wine in the spring sunshine. Just like the season, it’s a true crowd-pleaser. It has the quenching qualities of a white wine, with limited skin contact also lending red wine characteristics. There’s also a rosé for everyone – no matter if you’re looking for strawberries and cream in a glass or something all bone-dry and crispy. The French do rosé right – you won’t go far in France in spring or summer without seeing a local chilling with a glass. Of course, don’t discount what’s under your nose – Australian rosé is always worth a pour.
Once a bit of an under-the-radar varietal, expect to see a lot more chenin blanc kicking around this spring. Chenin blanc’s spiritual home is France’s Loire Valley, but it’s now a South African wine specialty and is even becoming a bit of a Western Australia sleeper hit. Like riesling and chardonnay, chenin blanc is a highly adaptable grape – with floral and apple notes, minerality and a refreshing acidity adding up to a perfect spring wine. If you’re feeling a little celebratory (and you’ve officially farewelled winter for another year, why the hell not?) chenin blanc also makes a very fine sparkling wine.
Sweet wines might not be your thing, but don’t be too hasty ruling out riesling. Sure there are some expressions that veer onto the sweet side, but this German-born grape makes one of the most versatile white wines around. The aromatic riesling can come across like a summer fruit bowl in the glass, with apricot, peach and pineapple flavours. Ageing brings out toasty honey notes that collectors and critics go mad for. Making it the perfect accompaniment to a sunny day, riesling consistently offers high acidity and fresh citrus flavours. It’s one of the most refreshing wines around – think lemonade for grown-ups.
We’re equal opportunity wine lovers – drinking red wine all summer long is just fine with us. But from spring onwards, it’s time to trade in your big, tannic heavy reds for something with a little more subtlety. Enter pinot noir. It’s light, luscious, pairs with all sorts of food and just made for springtime. Go for a cool-climate offering, like a Mornington Peninsula pinot noir, or a wine from the South Island of New Zealand, and bliss out on those bright berry flavours.
Grüner veltiner (or ‘GruVe’ if you want to speak the lingo) hails from certain scenic corners of Austria, but it’s also found a new home in Australia, especially in the cool, sunny micro-climates of the Adelaide Hills and Canberra. This clean, dry white wine bursts with acidity, white pepper and herbaceous flavours. Think of it as the new, non-daggy savvy b. It’s also a bit of a food matching champ, so pop this on in your picnic hamper for that first spring BBQ.
Gamay is to Beaujolais what pinot noir is to Burgundy. In fact, if you like pinot noir, there’s a good chance you’ll like this light red wine from its neighbouring wine region. A few years ago, you wouldn’t stumble across a gamay at your average Australian bottle-o. But it’s been steadily winning fans outside of wine snob circles and homegrown gamays are increasing, particularly from Victoria. Gamay is ridiculously easy drinking – fruity, smooth and crisp. Pro tip: chuck this puppy in the fridge for 15 minutes before serving, and you’ll be sipping pretty.
So, chill a bottle, or two, gather your besties for a picnic and drink in that spring sunshine mofos.