A taste of Spring

Now that your wine cellar is in order, you’re ready to launch into spring with seasonal foods and wines to make the fresh flavours pop. Source the food in season during spring then find recipes to suit. Look for asparagus, mushrooms, artichokes, avocado, chinese greens, leek, snow peas, shallots, zucchini and strawberries. Sort through your pantry and throw out stale spices, half empty packets and stodgy comfort food. Buy a few new ingredients to spice up your spring menu. Many people only think of sparkling wine as an appertif however sparkling wine is extremely versatile and a wonderful accompaniment to lighter meats, salads, seafood and fruit based desserts. Chicken skewers, tuna steaks on the bbq, smoked salmon, fresh prawns, asian and fresh green salads and desserts such as fresh fruits and sorbets will be enhanced by the acidity, citrus based flavours and bubbles of a sparkling wine. Of course, opening a sparkling wine also puts us in the party mood, so don’t wait for a reason to celebrate, pop open a bottle of sparkling wine and enjoy the warm weather. For something different try the Tallis Sparkling Viognier with natural oysters. The taste of the sea accompanied by the citrus bubbles of the wine will have you in heaven.

Many of us turn to white wines as the weather warms and viognier is an exceptional variety to accompany food. The textural qualities of viognier and its clean stone fruit and citrus flavours harmonise well with spring food. Warm chicken salad, artichoke and cannellini bean salad, smoked salmon, snow pea and avocado salad, asian salads, caramelised leek tart, seafood thrown on the bbq and marry well with a citrusy white wine like the Tallis Dookie Hills Viognier 2006 or 2007.

For the die hard red wine lovers among us we don’t have to turn our backs on our favourite wines during the warmer months. By simply throwing the wine on ice we can bring the wine temperature down to a level where it can be enjoyed despite the temperature outside. Shiraz and Merlot are great with red meats and the smoky flavours of the grill while Cabernet Sauvignon seems to work well with lamb dishes such as hoisin kebabs or a warm lamb salad.

As a lighter alternative try the Italian varietals Sangiovese and Nebbiolo with pasta primavera, warm Italian sausage salad with artichoke and asparagus, mozzarella pizza with prosciutto and rocket, garlic and thyme mushrooms, Italian stuffed capsicums and barbecued Italian sausage and bean salad.

Look in the recipes section for spring salads to enjoy with the Tallis Dookie Hills Viognier 2007