I’m sprung on spring

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Colores del Sol- Image: Heidi Butzine

Has anyone noticed that there is something different in the air lately?
Is it me or have you noticed it too?  Spring is coming and I can smell it!

I am very blessed to be living in Southern California and over the past few days, nature has reminded me not to take it for granted!  Earlier this week, I opened my windows to ‘let the sunshine in’ and in came this intoxicating scent with the breeze.

As it led me around the house by the nose, I was trying to place the aromas much like describing a wine.  What was it I smelled?  Was my neighbor doing their laundry with lavender-jasmine scented soap?  Mowing the lawn never smelled like this before!  I realized that I smelled something wonderful…the start of the spring season.  Breathe in…ahhh. 

Now, daylight savings time is this Sunday (tomorrow) and spring’s official start isn’t for another week, but you may start to notice that your senses are more alive for good reason.  The breeze is blowing, temps are getting a little warmer, flora (the goddess of flowers) is engaging the nose, and the same old views are more brilliant now with the sun casting its springtime rays.  As your senses are being awakened from the dullness of winter, now is the time to try some great wines. 

Following my own advice, I headed out this week to soak up some sun (after all, it has been raining quite a bit in So Cal).  I followed the breeze to the ocean for lunch on an open air patio.  Fantastic! 

So there I was with my guy enjoying the waves, tableside.  I ordered a grilled, juicy sirloin burger along with a 2009 Colores del Sol Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina.  Now this is a very young wine but it is actually quite flavorful and even better as we let it breathe with us over a leisurely lunch.  This is a medium bodied Malbec with a soft texture, opening up with notes of berries and clove.  Mouthwatering dark cherries dance on the tongue a bit and then end with a moderate finish.  It went fantastically well with my grilled burger but this is an easy drinking wine and versatile so it may be paired well with other dishes.  Coincidentally, colores del sol means colors of the sun and dining al fresco provided just the right amount of sunshine to keep warm, with a cool enough breeze to keep the Malbec slightly chilled (which I liked). 

And today, in honor of the upcoming entrée into spring, I visited my local wine shop to pick up a white wine; 2008 Chateau de la Meuliere white Bordeaux.  This may sound fancy but don’t worry, it went perfectly well with my grilled chicken sandwich from that shop we all know…the one with the commercials of people doing their own sign language for a foot-long something or other for five bucks.  This wine is a blend of sauvignon, semillon and muscadelle grapes, so there was a nice balance of medium acidity with strong aromas and sweet citrus flavors.  I probably should have had it with a tuna sandwich or grilled fish but it was still quite good with my chicken sandwich.  Adding a few extras (which put me over five dollars) namely creamy avocado played well with the acidity and mineral qualities of the wine.  I found this to be a light-to-medium bodied wine with a nice mellow acidity.  Aromas were very much grassy and lemony with a heavy influence of sulfur (not a bad thing).  Sweet citrus, honey and vanilla flavors stand out at first and then leave a lingering finish of grapefruit on the back end.  This was a very nice bright finish without too much pucker.

For my friends in other parts of the world where it’s still darn cold, I send warm thoughts your way but don’t dispair, the sun, wind and trees will soon show that spring is here.  In the meantime, let us all celebrate spring now by trying a wine never experienced before in honor of the season.

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