If springtime is usually when you start phasing out red and drinking more white, then make this the year that you think outside the box and try something different. Today we’re looking at some creative suggestions for springtime drinks that might just surprise you.
If your only experience of Sherry is a glass of Bristol Cream on Christmas day, it’s time to think again as there is far more to this complex drink than the cream style that was largely developed for the British market. The Spaniards know that there is nothing more delightful to sip in the sunshine than a chilled Fino or Manzanilla sherry alongside some of their local cuisine. Forget everything you thought you knew about Sherry and give it a try – great with tapas, soup or salad.
Many of us cut down on reds in the spring with a heavy heart – we love them but they don’t go well with the lovely fresh seafood and salad that start to seem so appealing when the weather improves. This lovely light red wine from Italy is a perfect red for the springtime. It won’t overpower delicate foods, its natural cherry-like flavour makes it moreish and appealing, and you can even chill it down a few degrees as a refreshing accompaniment to barbecued meats and fish.
Poor old Lambrusco receives a bad press as too often it is associated with unpleasant, cheap sparkling whites. The Italians understandably keep a lot of the good stuff for themselves – a delicately sweet, fragrant and lightly sparkling red wine with a slightly lower alcohol content. Many people don’t realise that Lambrusco is a red grape – that’s why the whites taste so poor, they’ve been stripped of all their flavour. The real (red) stuff is great chilled down as an aperitif, and it tends to be great value.
If you inevitably reach for Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio in spring, make this the year that you give Riesling a try. It’s extremely versatile as a grape, ranging from slick, stylish and ultra dry wines of New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Rim, to the sweeter styles of Germany that can age magnificently. Riesling is fantastic for food pairing as well, particularly with shellfish. Its racy acidity means it can stand up to spicy dishes and also cut through creamy sauces as an alternative pairing to Chardonnay.