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the wine gent

Finally, Spring Has Sprung...
or at Least Thatís What They Tell Us!

Okay, itís April, and we see ourselves making our way into spring. They weather is getting warmer, grass is getting greener, and of course the rainís falling quicker. As we start feeling the warmth of new growth of the season, we tend to look for some quenching wines that are lighter and easier to drink. I like to drink wines that are vibrant and dance on the palate during this time. Iíve chosen four varietals that I feel reflect the attitude of spring: youthful, vibrant, and pleasing.

Rosť: This wine style is making a serious comeback in the food and wine world. Rosť is not that super-sweet wines that many would equate to White Zinfandel but a clean, crisp, and aromatic dry red wine made in a white wine style. Itís a very popular wine, famous for its association with South France. These wines are made from all different red grape varietals, except they only sit on the skins for mere hours to give the slight pink color. I suggest the WŲlffer Estate 2003 Rosť. This is the premier Rosť from Long Island, and has a lovely citrus nose and a stunningly dry mouth feel. People love this wine and besides drinking it on its own, you can easily pair this with fish, salads, spicy foods, and even turkey! This wine is priced very well at $10.99.

Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc is a highly acidic wine (in a good way) that is grown all around the world. It produces lovely wines from France, Italy, Spain, California, Long Island, and New Zealand. These wines are the polar opposites of Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blancís are playful and vibrant. One common ďwine-speakĒ characteristic of the smell of a good Sauvignon Blanc is ďCatís PeeĒ...Iím NOT crazy. Really! The Sauv. Blanc that Iím suggesting this month is the 2003 Kenwood. Kenwood makes great wines in general, but I say that this Sonoma County wine is not only one of the best in the States but also one AMAZING value, a STEAL at $9.99.

Riesling: Riesling is a very noble grape. Itís grown around the world but is most famous for being from both Germany and Alsace region of France. Rieslings have a variety of flavors, ranging from dry to sweet. And keeping with the aroma (nose) intrigue, many fine Rieslings have a petroleum smellÖÖfun, huh!? But let me tell you, the flavors on the tongue can be brilliant. Rieslings always pair well with Asian, Latin, or other spicy foods. They are also great just to sip with friends. These wines have character. Try the the Pierre Sparr Riesling from Alsace. The Sparr Family have been known for making affordable and approachable wines. This 2003 has floral and lime scents that then flows into a vibrant well-structured wine that has some mineral overtones. This wine prices for $10.99, and is quite a bargain!

Pinot Noir: Once again, Pinot Noir has been the hot varietal lately due to the movie Sideways. Some Pinots are heavy at times, but many are very delicate, aromatic, and quite fruit forward. I suggest you try the Sanford Pinot Noir featured in the movie Sideways. The Sanford is from Santa Barbara County and is very easy to drink. It has layers of blackberry and strawberries that really work well with some light earthiness. This will pair well with lighter fish and meat dishes. This wine is usually priced much higher, but it can be purchased at Grape Culture for $16.99.


John Farrell
The Wine Gent