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FacultyWine in the Springtime: Our Top Recommendations

Wine & Beverage lecturer at César Ritz Colleges Switzerland and certified sommelier Lilla Fülöp shares two of her favorite spring wines that are, not only value for money, but pair fabulously with most early spring specialties and seasonal dishes. 
 

As the snow begins to melt and flowers dot the mountainside, the longer days bring the promise of lounging in the sun for a late afternoon apéro or enjoying a lakeside barbecue. And what would either of these be, if not accompanied by the perfect glass of wine? 

Wine & Beverage Lecturer at César Ritz Colleges Switzerland and certified sommelier Lilla Fülöp shares two of her favorite spring wines that are not only value for money, but pair fabulously with most early spring specialties and seasonal dishes. 

 

1. Recommended for Cinco de Mayo brunch & your first picnic in the greens  

IZAR - LEKU, 2015 Sparkling Brut Vintage, Hondarrabi Zuri, by Izar-Leku Mahastiak, Txacoli, Spain  

 

When we say sparkling wine, most people think of the prestigious Champagne and the popular Italian Prosecco. And while Champagne is, indeed, an endless story for all of us who love those golden bubbles, there are many other lesser-known, but equally wonderful sparkling wines to be discovered.   

Among these is this Brut Vintage, produced by Izar-Leku Mahastiak in the Basque region of Northern Spain, in Txacoli de Getaria. Txacoli, (Chacoli in Castillian dialect), is a Basque word used to refer to light, white, traditionally made, aperitif-style wine produced in the area.  

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The uncommon grape variety used to produce this wine is Hondarrabi Zuri, characterized by its fresh, juicy citrus notes and herbaceous aromas.  

This bright and refreshing sparkling wine made with a traditional Champagne method produces a crisp, dry style.  

Its lively bubbles and zesty citrus aroma are evenly balanced with the honey notes resulting from the bottle aging and salinity that are customary in this specific region. The depth and complexity of this wine pair well with brunch dishes such as wild-garlic deviled eggs, lemon-butter toast, shaved asparagus salad, goat cheese frittata, Jámon íberico, and savory rosemary waffles, just to mention a few.  


Available at Mövenpick-Wein.

 

2. Recommended for weekend grill parties & barbecues 

JOIS, 2017 Cuvée by Markus Altenburger, Burgenland, Austria 
 

If you are looking for a twist on the classical of pairing roasted red meat dishes with Bordeaux, look no further than Austrian winemaker Markus Altenburger’s makes unusual yet harmonious Bordeaux-like blends. By adding local Blaufränkisch to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, his wines are imbued with an extra layer of flavor. 

The tastes of ripe black cherry and cassis linger on the palate, followed by notes of vanilla, cedar, and charr coming from the Barrique. The Blaufränkish adds fineness and spiciness to this full-bodied wine.  

 


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There are plenty of delicious ways to pair wine and barbecue. This particularly bold red brings the traditional grilled meat flavors to another dimension.  

It is most certainly one of the best pairings for backyard barbecues and delectable red meat dishes such as beef stew, roasted lamb shank, glazed pork chops, or smoked short ribs. This is an uncomplicated yet elegant and unique wine to try.  

Tip: best when aerated for a few hours before consumption.  

 
Available at Flaschenpost.

 
Read about how César Ritz Colleges is Pairing wine with virtual reality


 

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