There are few things as vibrant as spring. Spring is the season of new beginnings — when farmers plant their seeds, fresh buds bloom, and the temperatures slowly rise. This time of the year is also significant in the culinary world. Depending on where you live, you’ll look forward to certain seasonal fruits and vegetables. In Southern California, there’s no shortage of fresh spring ingredients. From berries to avocados, citrus fruits to asparagus, the list of available ingredients is long, and the possibilities for what you can create are nearly endless.
Whether you’re planning a three-course meal for friends or would like to elevate you and your partner’s Friday night dinners, learning the art of wine pairing is both fun and delicious. Choosing the right wine to go with the right dish can really make the ingredients sing — and elevate the wine tasting experience. It’s a win-win. So, let’s dive into four of the best wine pairings to try this spring.
1. Syrah + Lamb + Hearty, Grilled Vegetables
Depending on your household and food preferences, spring lamb may be something you look forward to. Whether it be spring lamb stew, glazed rack of lamb, or grilled lamb chops, Syrah and lamb, especially when grilled, make a beautiful combination. Look for a Syrah with spicy notes, like clove and peppercorn. Here are 14 spring lamb recipes that are sure to please.
If you’re not a fan of lamb, Syrah pairs well with red meats and smoky flavors in general. So, beef and pork are other great matches for Syrah, whether grilled steak or smoked pork sausages. When lathered in a dark cherry sauce, grilled chicken or duck are also great choices. This type of sauce brings out the dark fruit characteristics of Syrah. DeLuzional – Syrah Blend offers the flavors of cherries and blackberries with a smokey aroma. It’s the perfect pick here.
For vegetables, take your pick. The nicer the weather, the more you’ll want to grill. With Syrah, grilled vegetables are always an excellent choice. Think mushrooms, peppers, and eggplant. Portobello burgers are another great choice, as mushrooms are readily available all spring. Here’s a great way to grill and serve up vegetables.
2. Pinot Grigio + Fish + Fresh Greens
Pinot Grigio is a match made in heaven for sole, cod, halibut, and other white, flaky fish, as well as salmon and snapper. There are plenty of ways to jazz up any fish recipes during spring. Think vinaigrette drizzles, fresh herbs sauces, and of course, plenty of greens — all of which pair wonderfully with Pinot Grigio. This wine varietal also pairs well with everything from lobster and crab to shrimp and oysters if you love seafood. It’s how you prepare these ingredients. Anything with a white wine or lemon sauce is always a safe bet, which is always good to remember for pasta dishes.
When you think of spring vegetables, asparagus definitely comes to mind. These young shoots pair beautifully with Pinot Grigio. If you don’t want to have asparagus as a dinner side dish, have a few spears during Sunday brunch, paired with a couple of pouched eggs, some crisp bacon, and of course, a glass of Pinot Grigio. Salads are also a classic pairing, and there’s no shortage of fresh greens during spring. Try this Lemon Orzo Shrimp Salad or this Spring Salad with Apricot Vinaigrette.
3. Viognier + Creamy Curries
If you like Chardonnay, you’ll be a fan of Viognier. This is a wine that pairs well with fish but will also complement the richness of lamb.
With such an abundance of ingredients during spring, why not make a creamy curry? There are so many directions you can take. Chicken is often a go-to protein for Viognier and a staple ingredient in many curries. Creamy Curried Chicken will please your palette when drinking Viognier, as will a Coconut Chickpea Curry. This wine varietal is ideal for many Asian dishes, including Pad Thai or Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry.
If you like your curries spicy, Viognier can hold up well to a moderate amount of spice, thanks to its floral aromas and natural sweetness. However, it’s not recommended that you go overboard, as a dish that’s too spicy will overpower the delicate aromas of Viognier. Opt for a Grenache, Syrah, or Pinot Noir instead when you want to go heavy on the spice.
4. Pinot Noir + Pizza + Pasta
Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile wines for pairing. Again, Pinot Noir can enhance both lamb and fish, particularly salmon. You can’t go wrong with salmon, served alongside arugula, feta, and quinoa. However, because of the acidity of Pinot Noir, it also pairs well with anything made with tomatoes — like pizza and pasta (but you’re not limited to tomato-based recipes). A simple carbonara is also a good choice, as the acidity cuts through the creamy sauce. A great way to make your carbonara taste like spring is to incorporate fresh peas and asparagus. This Spring Green Spaghetti Carbonara is a perfect choice.
The earthiness of Pinot Noir will enhance the flavors of many pizzas, especially fresh vegetables. Don’t be shy to get creative, topping your pizza with broccoli, swiss chard, and black olives — also, no need to limit yourself to tomato sauce. Like carbonara, Pinot Noir pairs well with white pizzas. Meaning they have a creamy base. Here is a list of the best spring pizzas for your next backyard gathering. Roasted chicken and leek pizza? Yes, please!
Pairing Spring Dishes With Sweet Oaks Wines
Regardless of why you want to increase your knowledge of wine pairings, spring offers the perfect opportunity to experiment with fresh ingredients and a wide spectrum of flavors. Sweet Oaks is proud to offer a vast selection of wines, ranging from Chardonnay to Merlot, to guide you along your journey.
The possibilities are nearly limitless when it comes to spring ingredients, so have fun with it!
Thanks to our collection, there’s a wine for every style of meal. Try Sweet Oaks wine today!