Springtime Sips

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

With the recent weather roller coaster, it seems we might skip springtime's mild, steady temperatures altogether.

So if you need a lift, raise a glass.

After a few sips of some of Jonna Brandon's suggested bottles, it won't take long before it feels like spring has arrived.

This season, Brandon, who owns The Twisted Vine in Grandview, advises choosing a light version of your favorite grapes-perhaps those grown in a different region or incorporated as part of a blend. Ros, the red wine you can chill, is another great option, she said.

And Brandon has lately seen a lot of interest in Prosecco, an Italian bubbly that's a fraction of the cost of Champagne. Try a bellini, made with peach nectar and Prosecco, instead of a mimosa for your next Saturday brunch.

Here are some stellar Spring suggestions:

San Simone Prosecco (note: non-vintage)

Region: Prosecco, Italy

Cost: $13

Flavors: dry, but with a touch of sweetness and peach, pear and citrus fruits

Pairs well with: alone, mixed with peach nectar as a bellini for brunch or with desserts like fruit tarts

Jonna Brandon's advice: "We sold so many Proseccos for Valentine's Day this year. I think everyone is finally understanding what they are, and if you can't afford champagne, drink Prosecco."

Tenuta di Trinoro Le Cupole (2005)

Region: Tuscany, Italy

Cost: $35

Flavors: dark fruits and mocha, with a finish that's light with acidity

Pairs well with: steak, osso buco, lamb

Jonna Brandon's advice: "It's a blend. The new-world versions of cabernet and merlot tend to be really heavy, high alcohol. So if you go to an area like Italy, you're drinking the same grapes, it's just going to be not as rich."

Larochette Manciat Pouilly-Fuisse chardonnay (2006)

Region: Burgundy, France

Cost: $33

Flavors: crisp and clean with a chalky minerality

Pairs well with: pan-roasted scallops, braised pork or a creamy dish it can cut through

Jonna Brandon's advice: "The chardonnays that come from California tend to be heavier, higher alcohol and not so crisp I'm really generalizing here. But if you move to the Burgundy region of France, they're going to be less oakey, more acidity, crisper, which is better for spring."