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Italian Wines for Spring
It might not feel like it, but spring is just around the corner. Prepare with these light, bright wine options.

Photo by Thomas Nardini

With spring on the horizon, it’s a good time to look for lighter-bodied red wines and also begin to uncork more white wines. Italy is ripe with options, and here are three I’ve enjoyed recently.

2010 Arnaldo-Caprai Grecante Grechetto (Umbria, Italy, $19) features Grechetto grapes that contribute to a clean, fresh wine with excellent mouth feel and notes of crisp apricots and honeysuckle, along with lemon mineral notes. If you like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc wines, this is a seamless transition. (www.arnaldocaprai.it)

2010 Elena Walch Schiava (Alto Adige, Italy, $14) is sultry and succinct, with a light-bodied palate that features wild-strawberry notes and a soft, creamy finish. (www.elenawalch.com)

2009 San Fereolo Valdiba Dolcetto di Dogliani (Dogliani, Italy, $16) – a fresh, youthful red wine – presents a slightly peppery palate and deep-purple color in the glass. This wine also shows violet and vegetal notes along with fine tannins. (http://www.sanfereolo.com)

Think you know dessert wines? Sommelier Nate Norfolk’s March 26 class and tasting on the matter strives to go deeper. As the class description says, there’s “a common misconception that Port, Sherry, and sweet wines only pair well with foods that are also sweet.” If the idea of sipping sweet wines with meats, cheeses and spices intrigues you, dial up Braise Culinary School at 414-212-8843 or drop an email to info@braiselocalfood.com and secure your spot for this event. It kicks off with a complimentary cocktail and appetizer at 6 p.m. followed by the main event: a food pairing with each sweet wine. Cost per person is $40.

Tuesday nights at The Wicked Hop in the Third Ward means half off bottles of wine. Arrive anytime between 7 p.m. and midnight to cash in on this deal. Whether you crave Spanish Cava or Australian Shiraz, there’s a bottle with your name on it.

I’m continually on the hunt for value-priced Pinot Noirs although I certainly do have my high-end favorites (hello, Sea Smoke!). Recently, I tried the non-vintage Seven Daughters Pinot Noir (California, $14) and enjoyed its raspberry and vanilla notes along with bright and expressive fruit (blackberries and cherries). (www.sevendaughters.com)

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