Wildflowers blossom back to life, baby bunnies hop to and fro, and your allergies are flaring up again. That's right, it's spring. But the new season is not just for packing away wool coats and above-the-ankle shaving, it’s also the moment your oenophilia (that's a devotion to wine) receives a much-needed resuscitation.
“Regardless of the time of year, when I buy wine I think about when I’ll be drinking them,” says Edouard Reymond, director and sommelier at Melbourne’s Bistro Gitan. “As the weather warms up, I want wines that I can enjoy outside. The season for sitting at a dinner table eating a beautifully braised dish with an open fire—as enjoyable as it is—is over.” Just as important as knowing which wine to grab from the shelf, it’s nice to sound like you kind of know what you’re talking about when showing your exquisite taste off to friends.
But which varietals are best enjoyed in the Friday afternoon sunshine, or with friends, sharing seafood, over the weekend? “I personally lean towards fresh crispy whites with European varietals like rieslings, albarinos, and pinot blancs. I also look for rosés that remind me of the warmer months in the South of France,” Reymond says. “These wines match so well with all the produce that’s about to come into season.”
Read on to discover Reymond’s top five picks for the spring wines to break out at your next dinner party.
“NV Perrier-Jouët is one of my absolute favourite champagnes. For a long time it hasn’t been as popular as it deserves, but it’s nice to see it served more often recently. With fine bubbles that coat the mouth, and a fresh citrus lemon flavour on the palate, it’s the perfect match for seafood like smoked trout or sardine fillets.”
2017 Terindah Estate Rosé
“A great Victorian take on a Provence rosé, and the season for rosé kicks off with spring. With a small amount of residual sugar, this is a wine that tempts you into enjoying multiple glasses. The strong acid works well with parfaits as well as light salads or a fresh pasta.”
2014 Denis Pommier Beauroy Chablis 1er Cru
“From Chablis in France, this is another great wine to match with seafood, particularly oysters. Spring brings so much wonderful fresh produce and it’s nice to move away from the weighty winter dishes. This Chablis has a nice salty mineral element indicative of the region’s chalky soils. A very quaffable drop.”
2015 Little Yarra Pinot Noir
“Another Victorian wine made in the French style. The team at Little Yarra use about 30 percent whole bunch, so it’s not too green. There’s a great savoury and sour cherry palate, with an earthiness on the nose, a touch of mushroom, and smooth tannin structure. A wonderful Yarra Valley pinot that matches well with a roast duck salad during a long Sunday lunch with friends. This is one of the wineries we’re keeping an eye on at the moment.”
2016 Txomin Etxaniz Txakoli
“This grape Txakoli (pronounced chock-oh-lee) is from the Basque region of Spain and is made for warmer temperatures. High acid, low alcohol, great minerality, and saltiness is topped by a delicious effervescence. Pair it with hard cheeses, some of Spain’s best charcuterie, and fried snacks.”