10 Sep SPRING DISCOVERIES
Here at Bird and Barrel we love Spring. As the days grow longer we enjoy a taste of the warmer weather yet evenings remain crisp and cool. It’s also the perfect time to explore unusual wine varieties and food pairings when we can truly appreciate and experience the subtleties of flavour to expand our palettes.
Expanding your palate is not about being pretentious. It's simply about discovering new wines to add to your favourites list.
Wine discoveries can be enjoyed with very deliberate tasting sessions on long weekend afternoons or evenings, or simply by opening an unusual bottle that’s gradually devoured along-side week night dinners. Discovery is simply about trying something new to expand your enjoyment of wine beyond the usual go-to favourites.
As we all know, during the Covid-era, it is a little harder to share experiences with friends as liberally we would’ve in the past. But at Bird and Barrel we still make a point of savouring our Spring-time discoveries, opening a new and unusual variety each week. First, sampling the wine on its own and then trying it with different foods to see how it changes.
So, why not try out your own version of an at-home Spring Food and Wine discovery, as we share our top Spring tips, tipples and suggested pairings below…
1. Pick a Wine You’ve Never Tried
Cold winter nights call for warm reds and Summer days scream for light whites and rose… but Spring offers unending potential for the discovery of new and unusual favourites. Go on, pick a varietal you’ve never tried before; you might even find your new favourite wine.
2. Serve First at Room Temperature
Spring is a great time to drink wines at room temperature. They can still be cool (if you live in a cool climate), but not be overly chilled meaning you can really taste the full flavour profile of the wine and smell the aromas before tasting. If you like your white wines on the cooler side, we suggest pouring a tasting glass before dinner, then popping it in the fridge (20 or 30 mins will do the trick) or putting a couple of wine cubes (not ice) in it to cool it down, without diluting it.
3. Taste With and Without Food
Drinking wine with food really changes the way you experience the wine. This is why we always enjoy a tasting glass before we eat so we can experience the wine with a clean palate (also, who doesn’t love to cook with a glass of wine on hand?). When dinner is ready we pair the wine with food to see how the flavour profile and wine experience changes.
As with all things wine, personal preference is really all that matters. By utlising Spring months to explore new wines and pairings, you can expand your wine palate (and cellar), and savour the varied taste experience a single bottle of wine can bring.
FOOD + WINE PAIRINGS
After Five Wine Co Montepulciano + Slow cooked Lamb
A medium bodied Italian variety the Montepulciano has medium tannins and fruit with medium to high acidity. As such it pairs well with heavier, rich foods such as rabbit, lamb, pork, rich pasta, venison, and antipasti, with the acidity and tannins an ideal accompaniment to rich foods and aged cheeses.
Drink from: a Bordeaux glass at 17-18C
Precious Little Grüner Veltliner + Seafood Pasta
A medium bodied white, the Grüner Veltliner has medium fruit and high acidity. Precious Little’s offering enjoys a light, lingering zesty finish and is perfectly paired with seafood pasta, tapas, vegetables, fish, chicken, pork, raw fish and fresh cheeses such as mozarella and goats cheese.
Drink from: a tulip shaped glass at around 10-12C
Somos Wines Aglianico + Italian Meatballs
The Aglianico is one of Southern Italy’s ‘three noble grapes’. This complex wine from the McLaren Vale (SA) is a great example of a full bodied red with high tannins, medium fruit and high acidity. Best paired with rich foods such as salami, meat pizza, osso buco, cold cuts, or hard cheeses.
Drink from: a Bordeaux glass at 17-18C