Pairing Wines With Spring Foods - Making the Most of the SeasonThe Great British spring – a time that evokes blissful daydreams of wonderful greenery, new life across the land and some of the most delightful food of the whole year. There’s no better time to make the most of those fresh and delicious vegetables we know we should be eating more of anyway – spring really is a time of plenty for anyone interested in doing their health a favour.

Exciting stuff all-round – that is of course unless you’re one of the millions with no idea how to pair quality wines with springtime food. It’s also a good time of year for wine by the case offers and some amazing wine gifts online, but pairing wine with spring foods does require some thought.

Chances are that if you know anything about wine you’ll know that greens are not exactly considered the best friends of wines. In fact some would even argue that a good fair few of the spring’s most wonderful vegetables are a wine-drinker's bête noire - while we’d call this a bit of an OTT statement we do understand the point being made.

But here’s the thing, pairing wine with spring foods is not only possible, but it’s not actually all that difficult either. So, if you’ve been struggling to work out how to put two of your favourite springtime treats together here’s a quick guide to consider if planning to buy wine by the case this spring:


Wine Pairings for Salad Greens

Salads come into their own at this time of year and are also at their most affordable in late spring and early summer. So if you’re the type that sees spring and summer as the seasons for all things green and leafy, here are a few tips for successful wine pairings:

  • Acid Balance – Ideally, the wine you choose should be slightly more acidic than the greens you’re eating or it will end up with a flat taste. Simple creamy dressings will allow for pairings with a Viognier or Chardonnay, but with anything else it’s a good idea to up the acidity.
  • Favour Whites – As there is usually a degree of bitterness to the majority of salad greens, it’s a good idea to show preference for whites with little to no bitterness to speak of.
  • Beefed Up – If your salad contains any meat…steak for example…make life easier for yourself by pairing with the wine with the protein, as this is likely to have the deepest flavour.
  • Wines of Choice – As far as specifics go, some of the best wines to try with salads include Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner and a white Vinho Verde.


Fresh Fruit Wine Pairing Tips

Of course, we’re fully aware of the fact that the spring isn’t all about veggies – how about those gorgeous fruits we can finally stop importing and start affording again? The spring is an amazing time for anyone that gets their kicks from fruits and berries of all kinds as good-tasting ones begin to be available, though again it can be tricky to pair a good wine with a big bowl of fruit.

Tricky, but not impossible – give thought to the following and you’ll be in sweet n’ juicy heaven:

  • Sweet Food, Sweeter Wine – It’s a general rule of thumb that if you’re going to eat any kind of sweet food at all, the wine you pair it with should be sweeter. The reason being that if the food is sweeter than the wine you won’t be able to pick up nearly enough of the wine’s flavour as the food will take over. Dessert wines make good choices – maybe have a go with a late-harvest Gewürztraminer or Riesling or even a nice Moscato.
  • Focus on Floral – Another great tip are wines which have a robust floral aroma as this is known to complement fruits to a tee. If you like floral notes, you’ll find them being brought out in a big way by the sweetness of the fruit, so perhaps make this your core focus.
  • Balance of Acidity – Exactly the same applies to this pairing rulebook as the one above – always opt for a wine with a higher acidity level than the food you intend to eat. This way, you’ll avoid losing the taste of the wine to the fruit’s acid.
  • Sweet n’ Savoury – How about if you’re dining on a meal that combines fruit with savoury foods? Well, our advice is pair your wine with the element of the dish that’s the strongest in flavour. A spring lamb with light cherry jus for example would be best complemented by a wine picked with the lamb in mind.


Pairing Wine with Spring Lamb

And just to be sure we don’t leave you hanging on that one, we’ll finish off with a few tips on pairing wine with that perfect cut of spring lamb:

  • The Wrong Way (Buy White Wine) – The rich fattiness of lamb makes it the kind of meat you should under no circumstances pair with a very light rosé or white wine, as the clash with the acidity will be quite horrible.
  • The Right Way (Buy Red Wine) – By contrast, red wines just love lamb and if you’ve gone for classic rosemary and garlic seasonings, you can’t do better than a full-bodied European red…end of story!