There’s something so rejuvenating about the first few warm, sunny days of the year that seems to put a spell on us. We’re lured out of our winter dormancy for a few days of glorious spring sunshine (that fools us all into thinking winter is over and done with) and then suddenly, it vanishes faster than it arrived and we are threatened again with the lingering frost, hail and high-winds. Spring is a major diva.
Thankfully, by now it’s nearly summer and it should be safe enough to say that the last of the early morning frosts are behind us. Hallelujah, Amen.
Gone are the winter months of cozy evenings in, hearty meals and big, full-bodied wines, and now for some mystical, innate reason, we start to find ourselves craving lighter, fresher food & wine, new cleansing exercise regimes and of course, the great outdoors!
But, why is that? Why am I all of a sudden craving grilled asparagus and Franconian Silvaner instead of beef stew and Cabernet Sauvignon? I mean, I love all of those things but suddenly, the latter is not nearly as appealing.
Also, the fact that I recently got suckered into registering for some kind of super ambitious obstacle race must be some kind of proof that nature’s cute little idea of a spring energy boost got the best of me, too. I just hope there will be a chilled glass of rosé waiting for me at the finish line when I crawl across.
Keep an eye on my Instagram August 6th for some undoubtedly hilarious photos of that ordeal!
Anyway, as it turns out this physiological, ancient wisdom within is actually guiding us in the right direction towards a healthier, more balanced lifestyle – so follow your intuitions!
Naturally, all food has its own maximum nutritional potential. Generally, by eating local, seasonal produce we are optimising our nutritional intake because that produce is at its natural prime. In the winter we crave comforting, dense, rich foods like meat-stews and preserves because that is all that used to be available to people in the cold winter months. Our bodies go into a sort of energy conserving survival mode. It gets dark earlier and we tend to adapt to a lower-energy lifestyle spent in the warmth and comfort of our homes.
Our energy, immune systems and metabolisms all differ throughout the year, thus, so do our cravings! Spring is a regenerative season full of increasing energy, renewed spirit and refreshing vibrance; a time to lighten-up, and drink rosé! …or Riesling, or Pinot Gris, or Soave, or Silvaner, or Scheurebe, or Sauvignon Blanc, or Grüner Veltliner, or Albariño, or Prosecco, or… well you see where I’m headed.
So, if you’re on-board the ‘fresh’ train and feel like dusting off the ‘ol portable grill and kicking it by the river al fresco style with some seasonal salads, fresh fish and a bowl full of berries then let’s talk about what kind of wine you might want to have in your glass, shall we?
My ‘go-to’ selection for spring is usually rosé, and as un-inspired and cliché as that may seem, I have to say, its popular for a reason and I’m all for it.
We spend the winter drinking these big, blockbuster reds, so by the time the sun decides to rock back around we long for something light, crisp and refreshing. Like many wines, rosé is all 3 of those things plus it still maintains some of the complexities and structure of a red wine, which is why I find it to be the perfect transition wine (as well as an all-year-rounder).
When it comes to buying the right rosé, there’s pretty much a style to match everything. I prefer lighter, dry rosé to match lazy picnics in the park or afternoon grill parties on the beach, since they pair so well with aioli dips, grilled meat and fish, as well as grain and green based salads.
Most of my favourite rosés are French, quelle surprise, but lately I’ve been really inspired by rosé from Germany and I feel like sharing!
Check out a few of my fav’s below the rant 😉
To those of you who are reading this and thinking “Is she nuts? German wine is so sweet and not at all refreshing”, please stop buying bad, mass-produced German wines like Blue Nun or Black Tower. They are made only for export markets (mainly for North America) because, for some mysterious reason, importers and monopolies think that is what the people want, yet (and here is the real enigma), German wine sales in North America keep decreasing! Shocker.
I’ve been visiting/living in Germany on & off for 6 years and I have yet to find a single local drinking a glass of either, or anything even remotely similar. Why? Because these are not typical examples of German wine. They give other producers a bad rep. and make the possibility of exporting quality wines extremely difficult. #stopthatnun
Yes, Germany is famous for sweet wines as well, but not the ones that you find for under $10.00 on your local liquor store shelf. The rare and precious sweet wines of Germany like Eiswein, Trockenbeerenauslese, Beerenauslese, etc. are in a category of their own and are, generally, ethereal bliss! My mouth is watering just thinking about Weingut am Stein’s 2012 Riesling Ice Wine. Holy Moly, it’s to die for!
Rosamunde Rosé, VDP.Gutswein – Weingut am Stein – Ludwig Knoll
– Did I mention that this is the winery where I did my internship and where I still work as
their export manager? –
Am Stein is a family run, organic-certified winery that practices bio-dynamic sustainable farming on the breathtaking steep slopes of the Franconian wine region.
Ludwig & Sandra Knoll are running the winery in its 5th generation and aside from their obvious passion for crafting fine wines, they also happen to be the most down-to-earth, genuinely great people. Their warmth and light-heartedness is contagious and their world-class wines never fail to impress.
This is a cheerful, easy-drinking, dry rosé made from 100% Pinot Noir. It’s fine and juicy with red berries on the nose and strawberry yoghurt on the palate. I would swim in this stuff if I could ever get my hands on enough of it, but it sells out too fast!
Grape: 100% Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir)
Rosé Saignée, VDP.GUTSWEIN – Weingut August Kesseler
You have probably heard of this winemaker before, and if not, make a note!
Made from vines of up to 80 years old in Lorch & Rüdesheim in the Rheingau, this wine is fresh and light with a fruity bouquet of cherries and strawberries. The perfect pairing for light meat, fish and salads.
Grape: 100% Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir)
Philipp’s Rosé Saignée, VDP.GUTSWEIN – Weingut Philipp Kuhn
Philipp Kuhn is a traditional winemaker in the Pfalz region and is most famous for his incredible red wines, particularly his Pinot Noirs.
This rosé saignée reaches beyond its classification. It’s delicate with mild acidity and intense strawberry aromas. A definite summer classic.
Grape: Cuvée of Spätburgunder, Blaufränkisch, St. Laurent, Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon
If you’re still leaning more towards the classic French rosé, then stay tuned this summer for my ‘French Kiss’ article which will outline some (hopefully) helpful tips on how to help you narrow your search for the perfect French rosé.
In the meantime (if you haven’t yet) try a german rosé already!!! If you’re not sure where you can find one, shoot me an email and I will do the research for you. It’s a personal mission of mine to promote good German wines, so I’m here for ya!
Oh, and one more thing! Rosé is generally best when consumed within 1-2 years of its release, so if you have any still kicking around from last year, now would be the perfect time to get it on ice and outdoors for enjoyment!
Thanks for reading!
-The Wine Girl-