It’s spring, and with the onset of beautiful weather and fantastic local produce, this is the perfect time to pack a picnic and hit the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail. The seven area wineries that make up the trail offer some great spring wines. You can taste them on-site and then pick your favorites to bring home to enjoy with some of the season’s bounty. With the purchase of a passport, sold online and at the wineries, you gain admittance to all seven wineries with tastings included at each stop. Alternatively, each winery also offers walk-in tastings for a nominal fee.
White wine is usually what comes to mind when one thinks of the spring season. However, there’s no reason why a great blush or red won’t work too. It all depends on what you’re eating. Here are some of the best local spring wines out there, and some food pairing ideas to get you started:
Red wines might seem like the least likely choice for spring, but there are some that really fit the bill. The 2009 Jansen Estate Chambourcin from Chaddsford Winery is a terrific example. This medium bodied red, with berry flavors and mild tannins, would pair wonderfully with light French fare like Crepes Provencal. Its slight sweetness is pleasant, and not overbearing. If you’re looking for a fuller bodied red, the 2007 Amethyst from Black Walnut Winery is a good bet. This wine, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and other grapes, has wonderful vanilla and illusive mint notes on the nose. Flavors of raspberry and red fruits combine with smooth tannins to create a well structured red. It’s perfect for a meal of spring lamb or mushrooms, served with mashed potatoes and fresh picked peas. Another great full bodied red for spring is the 2007 Black Tie Optional from Black Walnut Winery. On the nose, it suggests blueberry, mocha, and a slightly smoky vanilla. The flavor is redolent of blueberries and tart red fruit, with an inviting earthiness, smooth tannins, and a slight pepperiness on the finish. This red begs for a meal with ramps and morels and would beautifully accompany lamb or steak.
If a red sounds like too much, and a white like not enough, why not try something in between? After all, spring is the transition from one seasonal extreme to another. A great Rosé can be the perfect wine for spring, and the wineries of the Brandywine Valley have many to offer. The Pale Pink from Paradocx Vineyard is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay grapes. This wine has strawberries on the nose and palate, as well as an illusive nuance of honeydew melon. Another standout is the 2008 Dry Pinot Gris from Black Walnut Winery, which has a lovely mineral quality with notes of strawberry and melon, with a crisp lemony finish. If you are having roast chicken or grilled veggies then this is the wine for you. Strawberries are one of the hallmarks of spring, and the Sunset Blush from Chaddsford Winery is the perfect companion. A sweet wine, Sunset Blush has notes of strawberry on the nose with flavors of peach, grapefruit, and ripe strawberries. For a real treat, try pairing this wine with a light dessert of fresh strawberries, mascarpone cheese, and sweet tortas.
Dry whites are the most obvious choice for spring, and the Trail does not fail us here. Look for Twinbrook Winery’s Pinot Gris. The flavors of lemon, green apple, and a touch of oak would pair wonderfully with some fresh local asparagus. The 2008 Chardonnay from Black Walnut Winery is full of pineapple and lemony flavors with oak on the finish. This pleasantly buttery, fuller bodied white would pair wonderfully with roast spring chicken and herb roasted new potatoes. The 2008 Mischief, a blended white from Black Walnut Winery, is another fantastic choice. Try pairing it with creamy goat cheese and a great artisan bread.
The wineries of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail have much to offer. The beautiful scenery, serene settings, and great local wine draw folks from all around the region. So why not pack a picnic and hit the trail?
Learn more about the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail by clicking here.