The Best Wines to Enjoy This Spring!

Ah, spring is almost here! The days are getting longer, you can bear to go outside up north (and may already be complaining about the heat down south), and there are always some fresh flavors to wake you up and enliven your palate. Our favorites are light- to medium-bodied wines, and of course some bubbles in there too!

Below are a few of our favorite spring wines, along with book pairings! What are you looking for in a spring wine? 

There’s just something about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc! The zing, the freshness, the vibrancy–I don’t know what it is, but every time I try a new one, I almost always love it. 

A few faves:

Cloudy Bay 2023 Sauvignon Blanc: known for putting NZ wine on the map back in the ’80s, Cloudy Bay is staying strong! The 2023’s vibrance jumps right out at you and includes some fruity and especially citrusy notes to enjoy. Find it on wine.com for $36

For a lower-priced option, consider Rapaura Springs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2023, which garnered 90-93 point ratings and is described as a luscious and juicy crowd-pleaser. Available for $20 at wine.com

Mouth-Watering Book Pairings for Your NZ Sauvignon Blanc

We can go so many directions here!

First, try pairing your New Zealand wine with a book set in New Zealand. Options include Just This Once by Rosalind James and No More Bad Dates by Kate O’Keeffe. 

Second, consider books with fresh and zesty characters, storylines, whatever.  The ones that jump out at me: A Match Made in Venice by Leonie Mack, Accidental Attachment by Max Monroe, Raiders of the Lost Heart by Jo Segura, and Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld. 

Ever since I went to a fun Spanish wine-tasting a few years ago, I’ve been hooked on Grenache (or Garnacha, depending on where you’re drinking). As Food & Wine says, ” Cabernet Sauvignon may be more famous, Pinot Noir more acclaimed, but once you get to know it, Grenache sneaks in and steals your heart.” So true! It goes with so many foods, is known for its smoothness, and balances fruity flavors with earthiness like nothing else! Truly, a delicious and versatile wine. 

I will die on the hill of Bodegas Breca Garnacha. At the aforementioned wine tasting, a man who clearly knew a thing or seven about Spanish wine told me this was the best value he’s ever had ($15-$19 at various locations), and I’ve yet to find a better one at this price point. If you’re going fancier, consider Mas de Mancuso Garnacha Single Vineyard 2018. From Wine Advocate: “It’s a mountain vineyard protected by the warm winds, a cool place with stone, clay and marl soils. This 2018 is perfumed and floral, expressive, open and quite different from the 2017, balanced and with very good depth…”

The Perfect Book Pairings for Your Favorite Grenache

Like your New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, you can pair your Spanish Garnacha with a book set in Spain, such as Tasting Barcelona by June Patrick. Also consider books or characters that are smooth and/or balanced, like Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas (Jack is to die for), Bride by Ali Hazelwood (savvy Were? I’m in), Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert (Samir is the best at smoothing things over and loving Laura), and Any Duke in a Storm (I’ll take Raphael all day any day). 

With all the extra daylight these days, how about some lovely Rosé? Light, fruity, and crisp, just like your spring days hopefully are. Another great thing about Rosé? You can usually find a decent one without paying an arm and a leg. 

Rosés often differ based on geography, as some regions use different grapes and methods. Here are a few faves:

Grey Rock Sauvignon Blanc Rosé (New Zealand): described as fresh and fruity, with a crisp, dry finish, and available for $16 at Total Wine. 

Dune Gris Rosé (South of France): called a “summer stunner” with my favorite pink grapefruit flavor for only $12. You’re welcome!

Chateau Vignelaure Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rose 2022 (Provence, France): Made from a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Vermentino, this wine earned 93 points from Wine Enthusiast and is known for its intense yet balanced fruit flavors, all for $20. 

Rosé and Romance: Love at First Sight

Hmmm, seems like Rosé would go with just about any romance–pretty, fresh, fruity, and light. How about some romance books featuring Rosé? A few that come to mind: The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren (who can forget Fizzy’s CVS run for Rosé?) or The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory. 

Or opt for a light, fun read such as Every Duke Has His Day by Suzanne Enoch, America’s Geekheart by Pippa Grant, Dragged to the Wedding by Andrew Grey, and Accidental Attachment by Max Monroe. 

Champagne, Prosecco, or another sparkling wine? Don’t mind if I do! Especially down here in Florida when it’s getting hot, some bubbles = refreshing. 

If you’re going for Prosecco, try one from the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, where the wine produced in hillside vineyards across the Treviso province in Veneto. From Wine Enthusiast: “Extra brut and brut bottlings boast citrus, mineral, herb and white stone-fruit sensations, and they can accompany an entire meal. Sweeter versions show varying degrees of green apple, white peach and candied notes. Extra dry, considered the most iconic expression, is ideal as an aperitif, while dry, the least common version, is best paired with tarts and dried pastries.”

A few favorites include Biancavigna Prosecco Brut ($19), Carpenè Malvolti, 1868 Rive Di San Pietro Di Barbozza Brut ($20), and Colesel ‘Cartizze Brut’ Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG ($35). 

Pair Your Prosecco With Romance and Spritz

When I think of Prosecco, I think of my favorite Leonie Mack book, A Taste of Italian Sunshine, set in the heart of Prosecco country in Italy. It’s a beautiful story of love, redemption, opposites, and wine that I can’t recommend highly enough!

Other favorites set in Italy: Italy Ever After, also by Leonie Mack; One Summer in Rome by Samantha Tonge; Tour Wars by Carla Luna; and Beginning of Forever by Catherine Bybee.