Refreshing wines to celebrate better (spring) times ahead
The winter “champagne” and wine holidays may be in the rear view mirror, but if you’re curious about compelling new wine labels perfectly suited for the coming warmer months (along with picnics, by-choice al fresco dining, and perfect tipples for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduations), take note of a few exciting selections now blossoming in your favourite liquor store, or sites such as Drizly.com, Vivino and Wine.com.
Anybody seriously invested in expanding their palates (and their friends’), meanwhile, understands that said exciting wines will have a good story that pair well with painstakingly selected cheeses, wines and main courses. New York native and Wall Street finance industry veteran Marvina S. Robinson, for example, found that her long-time passion for champagne gave way to creating the B. Stuyvesant Champagne portfolio (after the historic Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant where she grew up). In collaboration with respected growers, she created three cuveés. These include a heritage champagne (new vintage available in April 2021), made primarily from pinot meunier, a grand reserve champagne brut made primarily from pinot noir, and a champagne rosé, made from pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay grapes.
B. Stuyvesant Champagne Grand Reserve Brut (US$59) is a crisp, dry, pale golden champagne with sea-green highlights and fine bubbles. The floral bouquet releases scents of fresh flowers, with a spicy palate featuring flavours of apple, and gingerbread biscuit. Pair with everything from brunch to late-night desserts.
B. Stuyvesant Champagne Rosé (US$68) is a salmon-coloured champagne rosé that sparkles with generous, tiny bubbles. The fruit-forward bouquet evolves towards notes of raspberry and red currant, with refined flavours of ripe cherry and pastry. Pair with your favourite summer dish, from shrimp on the grill to lobster rolls.
Tech-focused œnophiles, meanwhile, will appreciate Tussock Jumper’s portfolio, which not only offers 24 wines from 11 different wine-making regions and several made with sustainable methods. It has also uncorked a free augmented reality app available at Play Store or Itunes, with each regional ambassador “jumping” off the bottle to help with wine pairings and recommendations.
Tussock Jumper Grenache Rosé 2019, France (US$12·99): refreshing, crisp flavours of juicy strawberries, red currants, and a hint of spice will transport you and your love to the south of France, or the arrival of spring. Soft and fruity, pale salmon in colour with a dry, berry forward finish, try this sustainably made wine with fresh fruits, cheeses, or a gourmet charcuterie board.
Tussock Jumper 2019 Sparkling Moscato Rosé, Spain (US$11·99): aromas and flavours of candied orange peel, white citrus flower, and a bright, carnation pink colour make this the ideal wine for making any informal occasion celebratory. Soft and fruity with tiny bubbles, pair it with soft cheeses, crackers, and jams, as well as fruit desserts like warm berry pie à la mode.
Tussock Jumper Treviso DOC Prosecco Spumante NV, Italy (US$12·99): with safer, healthier times ahead, why not usher them in, Italian style? The refreshing flavours of apple, pear, citrus flower, and lemon zest makes a stellar base for sparkling wine cocktails, and pairs well with brunch … or beach.
Even with Europe’s best at your fingertips, it’s natural that there are also California-based wineries are planting some bright, cheery wines that will pair well with good food and sunshine.
CADE Estates’ 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley (US$34): the 2019 sauvignon blanc has aromas of pineapple, tangerine, honeydew melon, yellow apple, peach blossom, lime, white flowers and cantaloupe. There is a touch of minerality in the palate, but the wine has a rounded and creamy mid-plate and finishes with a tangy citrus like acidity.
The Donum Estate’s 2019 Rose of Pinot Noir ($45): the Donum Estate, known for wines that straddle the best of two worlds (Napa and Sonoma, to be exact) produces single-vineyard, single-appellation pinot noir and chardonnay. However, its limited production rosé has quickly become the star of its portfolio. This exceptional rosé is light, crisp and refreshing, making it perfect for pairing for a light first course dish or seafood-centric outdoor lunch.
Malene Wines’ 2019 Cuvée Rosé (US$22): produced by New Zealand native, Fintan du Fresne (‘Fin’) who developed his passion for rosé during time spent with many of the great rosé houses of Provence. This rosé exudes the ideal French style with lovely California-coast influences. Extremely expressive on the nose, the rosé almost leaps out of the glass with notes of peach, white grapefruit and peony. The wine can be sipped on its own or enjoyed with a wide variety of foods, making it the perfect addition to all springtime festivities. Fin is proud of the farming partnerships he has with local growers and that the wines are sustainably produced at Malene’s SIP-certified (Sustainability in Practice) winery. His 2020 Malene Rosé (SRP US$22) is pale rose gold in colour and extremely expressive on the nose with notes of melon and wild strawberry and hints of exotic tropical fruits on the palette.
Pine Ridge Vineyards’ Chenin Blanc and Viognier (CB+V) Sparkling ($18): Pine Ridge’s signature white blend is an aromatic wine boasting of pear, green apple and honeydew melon, complemented by lime, nectarine, lemongrass and apricot. This sparkler is food-friendly, pairing exceptionally well with everything from seafood such as oysters and caviar to Asian cuisines and other foods that have a hint of spiciness.