Spring Sips Worth Savouring

Spring – the season that wakes us up and stimulates our senses, delivering freshness and vitality and gets us back to enjoying the great outdoors.

The French define a proper Spring wine as Vin de Soif – refreshing and thirst-quenching. Selecting the right Spring wine is about weight – not colour and should have a crisp level of acidity, they are generally light in alcohol and body.

Think crisp, refreshing white wines – lighter, fruit and acid-driven dry or slightly off-dry whites served well chilled. These are wines that are compatible with salads, shellfish, seafood, pasta, fresh cheese, antipasto and white meats.

With the warmer weather, you may well be contemplating ditching the reds in favour of whites. Don’t!

Many red wines have qualities that work well in the warmer weather, lighter, with lower alcohol levels, higher acidity and subtle tannins. Chilled red wines can be excellent on a sunny day. Many Australian Pinot Noirs can be lightly chilled without losing personality and character, and varieties such as Sangiovese and Grenache that originated in Mediterranean climates, are just perfect for drinking in warmer weather. What better way to welcome in the revitalising season of Spring than with a gorgeous wine and to help you reach for the perfect bottle every time, we’ve compiled a selection of wines to get you through the season.

With or without food, Hunter Valley Semillon is the wine to drink this spring. Naturally low in alcohol and almost devoid of residual sugar, Hunter Semillon is the ideal partner for the season's lighter fish and seafood meals. When young, it's great with fresh oysters, cooked prawns and white-fleshed fish. With some age, it is wonderful when served with smoked trout or salmon, roast chicken, lobster with burnt butter and other flavoursome dishes.

Australian Verdelho, with its fresh, tropical fruit characters is very much the crowd-pleaser and perfect when served with spicy Asian cuisines including Thai, Vietnamese and Malaysian dishes, or simply enjoyed on its own on a warm day. While it is widely grown throughout Australia, the Hunter Valley consistently produce some of the best examples of this variety.

Chardonnay – the diva of differences. While Chardonnay makes for great drinking all year round, the warmer months are the perfect time to really get to know the world’s most cultivated grape which is superb paired with shellfish such as crab and prawns, grilled fish, chicken dishes, pasta and risotto. As a tangy, dry white wine that is perfectly light and fresh with fruity flavours such as pear, apple and melon, Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio is a warmer weather wine through and through and can be paired with a variety of food with ease. A glass of Sparkling Shiraz is always appropriate, regardless of the time of year (or time of day). Not only is it a perfect option for the festive season, but it is a great food wine which pairs beautifully with assorted breakfast dishes (such as classic bacon and eggs, strawberries and cream pancakes), Chinese roasted duck and traditional Christmas menu items like ham and turkey, but its generous fruit flavours can also pair nicely with dark chocolate mousse.

Rosé is a spring and summer staple and is undeniably the first choice for many wine lovers when the weather starts to warm up, and it can be found everywhere – especially when seafood such as tuna or swordfish is on the menu. This wine is also the perfect partner to barbecued prawns, Moreton Bay bugs and eggplant skewers.

Spring just isn’t complete without at least one bottle of Pinot Noir which is without a doubt, the first go-to red wine on a warm day and superb with duck, mushrooms, cured meats and charcuterie as well as seafood. Made for warmer, balmy afternoons in Italy accompanied with freshly baked bread topped with sun-ripened tomatoes, fresh basil, and olive oil, Sangiovese is ideal for chilling and perfect for warm Australian spring weather. When it comes to deciding what wine to try this spring – why not try something new – a variety you have never tried before. With the arrival of the warmer weather, there’s no better time to set your sights on new things: new flavours, new experiences, and maybe even some new favourites! See a few of our current favourites here.