Lighter wines for lighter days

daffofilIt’s the first day of spring on Sunday and that means longer periods of daylight. This sends signals to our brains to reject the dark reds and browns of winter and seek out lighter colours instead. So set aside your cache of Riojas and admire the colour of chilled white wine instead. So next time you’re in the wine aisle pick up a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc as this light green coloured wine not only matches emerging spring foliage but also the lighter foods we'll be eating once the weather gets warmer.

Quiches, cold meats and cold soups all match the gooseberry smell and taste of Sauvignon Blanc. This grape variety, though fresh and fruity, can be rather one dimensional so a good alternative are wines made with the Chenin Blanc grape.

Arniston Bay Chenin BlancMostly made in South Africa, Chenin Blanc’s multiple fruit personality makes it versatile enough to match almost any dish. But its sweet melon and apple flavours also make it a good choice as an aperitif or an ideal partner to a large bowl of popcorn while watching that favourite film for the seventh time.

Spring-time needn’t be just about white wines; there are plenty of lighter reds that are an ideal match to lighter meals. Try French Claret or Beaujolais, or wines made with the Pinot Noir grape to find strawberry and redcurrant flavours.

PG Wine Tips

£3.99 and under

There are still some good bottles to be found that cost the same as a couple of National Lottery tickets.

Aldi Tierra del Sol Chilean Sauvignon Blanc

£3.69

Aromas of grapefruit and coconut followed by flavours of light lemon and apple. A simple quaffable wine that’s best served straight from the fridge. Match to fish pie.

Co-op Bulgarian Chardonnay

£3.75 (down from £4.25 until March 29th)

More interesting than your average Chardonnay, this Bulgarian version smells of buttery apple and toasted coconut while the taste is very close to the classic partnership of Cheshire cheese and apple. Ideal with roast chicken and then the next day’s chicken sandwiches.

Co-op Vanderberg South African Chenin Blanc Chardonnay

£3.99 (down from £5.69 until March 29th)

Creamy apple and melon flavours with a raw carrot edge. Try with quiche Lorraine.

Costs a bit more, but tastes great

Sometimes a bottle of wine tastes so fab it's still a bargain whatever it costs.

White River South African Fairtrade Chenin Blanc

£6.99 Laithwaites

This Chenin tastes like pineapple cheesecake with an additional zesty spritz. Unusual but enjoyable. Match to late night films.

Cawte’s Cave New Zealand Organic Sauvignon Blanc

£8.99 Vintage Roots

A wine for those who want a Sauvignon Blanc but don’t want the usual excessive gooseberriness. More sweet apple and melon than gooseberry – which makes it taste rather like an English wine. And all the better for that.

Villa Maria Private Bin New Zealand Pinot Noir

strawberry£9.99 Co-op

Creamy cherry initially followed by strawberry and liquorice flavours.

This article has appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on Mature Times