I woke up this morning, you know, and the sun was shining and it was nice and all that type of stuff.
Mornin’, sunshine. Come on in. It’s time to get tips-y. Whether you’re planning a spring dinner party for four or a seasonal soirée for 40, you’ll want your wine to fit both the occasion and your budget. Just in time for sun-kissed days and breezy nights, Tim Gaiser, Master Sommelier, wine educator, and author, is sharing his picks for the best wines for spring entertaining. With these tips, this might just be the only wine list you’ll need all season.
Spring Cocktail Party
2013 Fillaboa Albariño $19
Albariño from the Rias Biaxas region in Northwest Spain has become the country’s most sought after white. One sip of the Fillaboa and you’ll know why – it’s the absolute embodiment of springtime. Aromas and flavors suggest white peach, tangerine, and tart lime. Enjoy it with poached salmon filets with dill and lemon or asparagus risotto.
Spring Dinner Party
2011 Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir, “Cuvée Laurène,” Willamette Valley $65
When famed Burgundian producer, Robert Drouhin, invested in vineyard property in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 1988, it sent a shock wave through the American wine establishment and confirmed what many already knew: the region had the potential to make world-class Pinot Noir. Today, Drouhin’s daughter Veronique oversees the winery and her “Cuvée Laurène,” named after her oldest daughter, is widely considered one of America’s great Pinot Noirs. The 2011 is lush, supple, smoky, and spicy, and pairs beautifully with rosemary and garlic roast leg of lamb. It’s perfect for a special celebration.
Mother’s Day Brunch
NV Vilarnau Brut, Cava $16
Cava is heaven’s answer to the high cost of Champagne. Vilarnau’s brut is remarkably crisp with just the right touch of fruit to keep it perfectly balanced while delivering an exquisite zing to the senses. Sip it with Spanish tortilla with chorizo and scallions or a leek, goat cheese, and Prosciutto frittata.
Spring Garden Party
2013 Cantina Terlano Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige $17
Not all Italian Pinot Grigio is equal! Most is mass-produced plonk; the best wines come from Alto Adige in the country’s alpine north. Cantina Terlano is one of the top producers and their 2013 offers vivid citrus and pear fruit with delicate floral notes and sharply etched lemon acidity on the finish. Try it with Thai shrimp spring rolls or pan-seared sesame-encrusted tuna steaks.
2012 Chappellet “Mountain Cuvée” Napa Valley Red Blend $27
The “Mountain Cuvée” from Chappellet, one of Napa’s first families of Cabernet, is the best sub-$50 valley Cabernet blend I’ve tasted for a very long time. The 2012 offers succulent black and red fruits, savory green herbs, and spicy mocha notes. Supple, seamless, and elegant, it’s the perfect American wine for sipping and is a good match for grilled marinated skirt steak.
Thanks, Tim, for stopping by. Cheers!
Introductory image: Audrey Hepburn
Introductory quote: Rebel Without a Cause, 1955
Not ready for the party to end? Follow us on Instagram for fête-chic images and tips and chances to win great soirée swag.