Deciding which wines to make a point of trying each season isn't easy. That's why we've enlisted the wisdom of the Wine Maestro, Brett Jones, who has over 40 years of experience in the field, to give us the skinny on some of the best spring wine options.
Although winemakers of the French wine region Muscadet spent some time playing it safe, Jones explains they have majorly stepped up their game and are now producing a variety of delicious and inexpensive wines. He finds this pale gold wine to be bone dry with a gentle acidity and highlighted with the flavours of apple and a hint of lemon. This well-rounded wine will pair beautifully with fish.
Jura is a special area in eastern France that is renowned for its unique vin jaune, explains Jones. Vin jaune must be aged in a barrel for a minimum of six years and three months, without ever being topped up, resulting in an oxidative style. This savagnin is made with the same variety of berries as those used in vin jaune and is also not topped up, which make it a great introduction to the Jurassien style, suggests Jones. It's a gold wine with a fine depth and the flavours of sherbet lemons and lemon meringue pie. Sounds like the perfect flavour combination for spring! For a real treat, pair it with a hard cheese, such as Gruyère, or a light curry.
This gorgeous red wine from the Beaujolais region in France offers a fruity aroma and a rich, full taste with a bright and inspirational finish, explains Jones. It's made from gamay grapes, is lightly oaked and has fine tannins, so it can be served slightly chilled.
This light ruby wine, created by Englishman James Frost and his wife Ann on their small 11-hectare estate just north of Lisbon, is made up of an intriguing blend of Portuguese berries and a small addition of a combination of international grape varieties: 60 per cent touriga nacional, 25 per cent aragonêz and 15 per cent merlot. Jones describes it as dry and fruity with a juicy finish. Meat eaters can enjoy this elegantly balanced wine with a lamb stew, while vegetarians can pair it with a nice eggplant-based dish.
Jones finds this deep, ruby-red coloured wine to have the pleasant aromas of plum, strawberry and sweet spices. It offers complex, ripe raspberry and blackberry flavours, along with a fresh acidity and firm but soft tannins, which result in an elegant and lingering finish. The berries come from the Colchagua Valley, where winemakers take full advantage of the healthy Chilean climate and embrace organic winemaking.
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