Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Toast to March - Wines for a Month of Transition

They say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, meaning that the weather can be really fierce and scary in the beginning, but by the time the end of the month comes around, it is calm and gentle, may be even a little warm and fuzzy.  Perhaps, in winespeak, March then comes in like a Zin and out like a Pinot Noir - depending, of course, where they are made.  Also, a full bodied, ripe red California Zinfandel is perfect comfort wine for cold and blustery weather, which we also find in the early days of this transitional month.  While Pinot Noir is not necessarily a warm weather wine, the benign late days of March are good days for venturing out and finding something new among the wonderful wines of Burgundy.  

And for my Pisces posse, we have crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, delicate Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie and lean Pinot Grigio from Alto Adige - all great wines for fish.  Venture into Austrian Zweigelt or perhaps a Long Island Cabernet Franc if you prefer salmon or tuna steak.  Aries Rams, your gamey flesh needs something more rich and rustic, like Aglianico del Vulture from Basilicata in Italy's dirty south, hand crafted Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre blend from McLaren Vale Australia or South African Pinotage, so try one of these after the 21st.  

So what does one drink on the ides of March?  If you are filing business taxes at the last minute, then whatever you can open quickly, preferably something with a screwtop, but if your taxes are in and you are enjoying the transition from winter to spring in relative leisure, you can get a preview of the season of new beginnings with Tempranillo, Spain's early girly, say goodbye to winter with a fairwell sip of German Eiswein, or start celebrating early with a fabulous grower champagne.  

Here's to March!  Try these: 
Gnarly Head Old Vines Zinfandel 2006 Lodi $10
Eradus Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Marlborough $19
St Michael Eppan Pinot Grigio 2007 Alto Adige $20
Lieb Cabernet Franc 2002 North Fork of Long Island $25
D'Arenberg The Cadenzia GSM 2006 McLaren Vale $25
Man Vintners Pinotage 2005 South Africa $9
Christoffel Ürziger Würzgarten Eiswein 2001 Mosel $112 half bottle
L. Aubry et Fils Brut NV Champagne $36

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