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Wines Perfect for Spring Weather

(post, Anu Karwa)

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Spring is finally promising to fully unleash her warmth.  That means it's officially time to take the party outdoors.  Whether it's dinner on the deck, a picnic in the park or a full-out celebration, wine can be the perfect beverage to serve alongside summer salads and burgers sizzling on the grill.  Along with your winter scarves and parkas, shed the bigger, bolder Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux wines of winter, and step into something lighter.  When choosing a wine for warmer weather, it's important to keep a few things in mind.   Since you're in the heat and more apt to dehydration, choose a wine relatively lower in alcohol.  And keep it crisp, refreshing and acidic, the same reason we naturally gravitate toward lemonade when temperatures creep up.   The same logic  makes me instinctly reach for dry Rose, dry Riesling from Alsace or Australia and Muscadet from the Loire Valley as well as sparkling wine.  

But don’t think red wine has the season off. On the contrary, red wine stands up to heftier foods like barbequed ribs where white wine would falter.  And sometimes only a glass of red wine truly satisfies. However, I'm going to advise doing something once considered heresy, and that is, to chill your red wine.  Nothing is more satisfying to sip alongside a hot-off-the-grill burger than a juicy Barbera d'Alba or Valpolicella from Italy slightly chilled.  When picking a red wine perfect to drink out-of-doors, think light to medium bodied, with soft tannins and a hefty dose of bright fruit and acidity.  These wines will shine where their heavier counterparts seem dull or just unappealing.   

Click here to read my favorites for alfresco sipping: