Across the world the beauty that is Spring will bare it's magical fruit. From the wildflowers that blanket hillsides and valleys to the pungent, tropical, and citrus smells that add to this sensory experience... we welcome Spring.
The envelope opens from a harsh Winter that encased us in blankets, coats, and gloves to the unveiling and wonder of natures bounty. I remember from my days in California the roadsides covered in golden poppies, lavender, and lupin. Then, in the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma rows upon rows of bright yellow mustard in contrast to the budding grapevines laced in green leaves and white blooming flowers.
In contoured gardens there are tulips, geraniums, daisies, Easter lilies, and the first vivid recognition of Spring, the daffodil. This multitude of colorful expressions beckon one to stand in awe of God's artistic palate. Every neuron explodes into action as our receptors take in the sounds of birds, the smell of flowers, and the sunlight that brings this all to bare.
This wonderful time of year also sets the stage for ingredients from food to wine. This procession of nutrients provide the building blocks for our anatomical structure. All of a sudden and yet with a predisposed conclusion the culinary landscape vaults into view like the small framed Cirque du Soleil acrobat that briefly disappears from sight... then reappears in the blink of an eye.
Framed with an expression of disbelief we trust our memory that this will occur and yet are still captivated by its grandeur. Farms, wineries, and all other manufacturing facilities leap to service unwinding from the hibernation of Winter. Restaurants fulfill the expectations of their patrons by unveiling culinary treats only days before plucked by the roots and served farm to table.
To pair with these fresh fruits and vegetables are the wines that compliment and enhance the dining experience. White wines for the most part feature subtly. To give you examples here are the most popular white wines:
The composition and variance of the varietal Riesling (from dry to sweet).
The sometimes austere Sauvignon Blanc with nuances of grass and lemon.
The vanilla and buttery oak enhanced Chardonnay witnessing a spectrum of flavors that compliment any light spring food offering. These are but three (all be it the most popular) white wines out of literally a thousand different white wine varietals.
To build upon the Spring theme of variety and new beginnings are the red varietals that also compliment the bounty of this new season. Like the white wines described above these are but two of thousands of varietals of red wine. Perfect pairings which enhance the wine and food include red wines being paired with mushrooms, pastas, game, and cheeses. These red wines span the gamut from the lighter Pinot Noirs to the full bodied Zinfandels. Each flavor in every wine reveals its terroir, climate, and grape clone origination adding fine drawn delicacy that paints a flavorful picture on a blank epicurean canvas.
Simplicity is the key word to produce excellent Spring cuisine that show cases both the food and wine. Wild Caught Sea Bass pan seared (using the PAZAZ™ kitchen tools) topped with a home made mango salsa placed over a nest of greens with heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, and artichoke hearts lightly seasoned with a cranberry/pear vinaigrette. This will send your palate into its happy place where meals become memories.
The ingredients are the most important factor as you delve into the many recipes that feature soups, salads, pastas, and proteins. Of course since you are taking time to carefully pick out these culinary delights you must also take care and time to research the wine selection that will bring this dish to life.
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