With spring weather (finally!) here, I’ve been enjoying some of my favorite warm weather wines recently.
One of my very favorite spring sippers is a Spanish wine that’s quite similar to the more widely known Portuguese Vinho Verde. Txakoli (pronounced Chacoli) is produced in the coastal Basque region of Spain.
Although most Txakoli is white, last week I tasted a rosé version at DC’s Estadio, paired with a skewer of manchengo, chorizo and pistachio that was just right for the spring day.
Made from the hondurrabi zurri grape, this hard to pronounce wine goes down easy! It is bone dry, high in acid, with a touch of salinity. The hint of effervescence gives this light wine an added spritz and reminds me of summer days at the beach and warm nights on the porch with friends.
Another of my favorite producers is Ganeta- the new vintage is currently on it’s way to the DC area, just in time for Spring. This is a tried and true at our house, and I can’t wait to try the newest vintage!
Next time you’re in the mood to try something different, give this Basque wine gem a try! It’s delightful with seafood or enjoying al fresco with friends!
What are your go to spring wines?
Although many reach for heavy red stand-bys like Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux, I have a few lesser known favorites that are perfect for warming up in front of the fire!
This is the time to bring out your fortified wines– Sherry, Port and Madeira. Although there is huge variation within the category of fortified wines and they can get expensive quickly, there are delicious bottles in the $22-$25 range.
I recently tried Baco de Elite Olorosso Sherry, a medium dry sherry with toasted walnut notes. Derek Brown’s Mockingbird Hill is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about sherry! I’m also partial to Dow’s Boardroom Tawny Port for its caramel notes and lighter finish than Ruby Ports.
Forget budget Madeira and just splurge. It’s worth every penny! For a special treat, visit The Jefferson Hotel in DC, which houses the largest Madeira collection in America. Ask Jen, the Sommelier, or Ivan, an outstanding bartender at the intimate Plume bar, for a recommendation!
Although this grape is grown primarily in Uruguay, it was originally a French varietal. This is definitely one to decant and you will be amazed at how a Tannat will open up and develop as it is exposed to air! I recently poured Bouza Tannat at a private wine tasting, and it’s chocolatey notes and full body were a crowd pleaser. It’s not a grape you see every day, but if you like super full bodied reds, this is one worth trying! Tannat tends to be very high in alcohol- hovering at around 15%- so sip accordingly!
As mentioned in last week’s post, I adore red wines from this Spanish region. These powerful red wines are comprised of a blend of varietals including Garnacha, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot. Try the Menut or Zaumau- both are spectacular wines that offer spicy red fruit notes and pack a powerful punch. They’re great to pair with your favorite hearty winter fare, as well!
This Italian wine doesn’t come cheap, but is absolutely amazing when it’s cold outside. Made in the Veneto region of Italy, this full bodied, earthy red wine is made by letting the Corvina grapes dry out into raisins, heavily concentrating the flavors. Try Allegrini for a tried and true house that also makes an excellent “Ripasso” Valpolicella- frequently known as the “poor man’s Amarone”.
What is your favorite cold weather libation?