Easter brunch, lunch or dinner in my memory-bank is leg of lamb, ham, cold salmon and egg dishes. Fresh veggies and yeast breads. Light and spring-like, is the way I think of celebrating this holiday so dear to so many, and season of sweeter weather. Below is a list of wines I’ve found these vintages around the web, but each market is different, so good luck. Residual sugar included when available.
While our wine drinking populations habitually reach for Chardonnay, but springtime calls for adventuresome palates, thoughtful shopping and fresh, light and zesty finds. Never mind, the Chardonnay aisle will be packed.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling 2014: Residual Sugar: 1.9 g/100 ml which puts this light refreshing white in the medium-dry range, about half-way to being sweet. Some delightful, crisp Granny Smith in the bottle. $7-$10
Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling 2014: Residual Sugar: 0.84 g/100 ml. The drier version of the above, lovely fruit forward with hints of ripe melon. Very little difference in pricing. $9-$12
Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2014: This is a citrusy, zesty, clean, balanced and fresh Sauvignon Blanc. $9-$12
Hogue Pinot Grigio, Columbia Valley 2014: Residual Sugar: 0.62 g/ml. The blend is 85 percent Pinot Gris, 6 percent Chardonnay, 5 percent Sauvignon Blanc, almost 4 percent Gewurztraminer and under 1 percent Muscat Canelli. Nice, Nice, Nice. Pear and melon prominent. Technically dry but the fruit blend shines through. Serve with appetizers and move right on to the main course. $8-$11
Segura Viudas Brut Cava Aria NV (Spain): I love the Segura Viudas line for quality and value –– and did I mention quality? The Brut Aria is newer to me. Less expensive than the familiar Reserva Heredad. Aria offers bright apple, roasted hazelnuts and the requisite lemon rind. Inexpensive and worthy of your finest flutes. $10-$14
Louie Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé 2014 (French Chardonnay): Attractive nose of flint, smoke and pineapple. Lovely peach, almond and a bit, just a bit, of buttery-goodness on the palate. Elegant mouthfeel. Finish long and lush. $18-$23
Hess Collection Chardonnay Napa Valley 2014: A small portion of the 100 percent Chardonnay grapes from multiple clones is fermented in oak. A small portion undergoes secondary fermentation. A light whiff of early spring flowers in the nose. The palate is round and full with good acidity. Pear and tropical fruits make this wine an easy choice from appetizers through the main course. More Burgundian style than California. $18-$23
Schloss Vollrads Riesling QbA 2014 (Rhinegau, Germany): Schloss Vollards bonafides dates, in writing, to 1211! I’ve enjoyed this estate’s QbA many times, and wouldn’t hesitate pair it with my spring menu –– 100 percent Riesling. Schloss Vollrads produces Riesling, exclusively. Semi-dry, or “off-dry,” Lovely, fragrant pear, mango and melon. Mild winter, little frost made for a record-setting vintage. $20-$24
Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2014 (Rhone, France): Guigal is known for fine, substantial rosés. This 2014 is a mix of 60 percent Grenache, 30 percent Cinsault and 10 percent Syrah. Round, fresh, lithe and elegant. Beautiful, bright berry fruit. Medium-bodied, perfect for spring and summer drinking. Guigal’s rosé and food have a thing going on. $7-$15
Roederer Brut Rosé NV Anderson Valley, CA (Sparkling): Residual Sugar: 1.2 g/100 ml. A blend of 55 percent Pinot Noir, 22 percent Chardonnay. Beautiful in the glass with a long bead of teensy bubbles. Round and full with a nice balance of mineral and refined fruit. The cuvee includes 10 percent to 20 percent of the Estate’s reserve oak-aged wine lending finesse and elegance. $25-$30
Hahn Pinot Noir 2014 Monterey, CA: Bring on the grilled lamb. This is a gutsy Pinot, earthy yet has the silky feel we love in Pinot Noir. Rosemary, somewhere in your menu (maybe a marinade), is nice and complements the deep berry flavors. $12-$16
Duck Pond Pinot Noir 2014 Willamette Valley, Oregon 2014: Residual Sugar: 0.01 g/100 ml. Enticing plum jam nose. On the palate, herbal and earthy, some spice, and warm cherries. Light to medium-bodied, with a light finish. $17-$21
Maison L’Envoye Pinot Noir Two Messengers 2013 Willamette Valley, Oregon: Vibrant, peppery, a touch of rose petals with cherries, strawberry and raspberry fruits dominating. Juicy yet elegant. Springtime perfection, yet stands out for hot-summer-drinking reds. $30-$33
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