Aren’t we all tired of long commutes, shoveling the walk, and winter coats? We’d take a light smattering of warm sun, some dead grass, and mud about now, right? With spring officially beginning March 20, Passover and Easter around the corner, and it blessedly being still light out by the time you get home from work, it’s time to start thinking about the next season, despite what the weather outside looks like.
The spring growing season heralds the return of things that are green: artichokes, spring peas, leeks, kale, ramps, and asparagus. Is there any vegetable more quintessentially spring than a bunch of slender green asparagus tossed on the grill with oil, salt, and pepper? When thinking spring vegetables with wine, think Grüner Veltliner to pair. Grüner Veltliner is positively outstanding with all things asparagus, and I just can’t get enough of those green stalks as soon as the fresh ones are available. The medium-bodied Austrian white wine is fruity, with characteristics of lychee, celery, and white pepper. In Austria or Germany, it’s not uncommon to serve this wine with sausage and pork, but also is great with Asian favorites. Try the Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner “Kamptal” – it has all of the classic Grüner qualities and ample acidity to make it an effortless food-friendly choice.
You say Easter, we say Riesling, right? Wrong! This year mix it up with Gewürztraminer. While it's not the easiest wine to say, we’re recommending Kurt Darting Gewürztraminer Kabinett, Dürkheimer Nonnengarten (Darting Guh-wurz is good enough) It pours a pretty yellow green and has lush flavors of peach and tropical fruit to go with its lovely white-flowered nose. Tasting this wine on its own, you can practically conjure the image of a table clad in white with a steaming honeyed ham in front of you. It has enough oomph and acidity to stand up to the traditionally rich Easter side dishes.
Cheers to spring! —Lindsey Coleman
Need wine recommendations for your spring feast? Tweet me: @surdyksliquor