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story.lead_photo.caption Illustration by Kelly Brant

Spring is an interesting time. We have sunny, summerlike days that demand a refreshing dry rose followed by those unpredictable rainy, cool days that call for burly red wine.

By request, these are of some of my favorites to have on hand for the unpredictable days of spring. To make it easy on your budget I've included only the everyday drinking wines of our "value" list.

Gruner Veltliner is one of those overlooked grape varieties unlike any other refreshing white wine. This grape offers a unique flavor of lime, lemon and grapefruit wrapped into a signature vein of acidity.

Raptor Ridge Gruner Veltliner, Oregon (about $19 retail)

Gamay is a light-bodied red wine similar to the taste of pinot noir (an actual cousin). Gamay has a bounty of aromatics ranging from strawberry, floral and even earth notes. The plus of this grape variety is its surprising ability to pair with a wide range of foods — even fish!

Le Coeur de la Reine, France (about $15 retail)

If you are familiar with unoaked chardonnay you most likely are one of its dedicated followers. The best way to describe this refreshing, elegant wine is to imagine all the other chardonnays massed produced in the market but with no butter, vanilla and creamy taste. It's a delicious wine for food or an everyday staple.

Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay, New Zealand (about $17 retail)

Picpoul is a refreshing bone-dry white wine layered with grapefruit, floral, green apple, lemon and most importantly racing acidity. It's this high acidity and citrus fruit notes that make this wine an all-around food pairing dream and chilled sipping sensation.

HB Picpoul de Pinet, France (about $12 retail)

Albarino will always offer a refreshing taste wrapped into structured acidity while showcasing its aromas and taste of peaches, apricots and almonds. The best versions of this grape come from the Rias Baixas region in Spain.

Martin Codax Albarino, Spain (about $15 retail)

Viognier is one of the softest, perfumed, uplifting, savory, creamy and rich white wines on the market. If you are one to stop and smell the flowers, then viognier will be your new love.

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier, California (about $13 retail)

Lorri Hambuchen is a member of London's Institute of Wines and Spirits. Contact her at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, AR 72203, or email:

uncorked@thewinecenter.com

Food on 05/01/2019

Print Headline: Springtime wines herald the season

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