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Wines for Spring

We won't need to convince you. Once you've tasted these light-bodied wines, you'll know winter is over.

As you throw open the windows and rediscover baby produce, mushrooms and twiggy asparagus (begging to be steamed), experience the exhilaration spring brings. Lighter foods and longer evenings spent with friends call for crisp whites and light-bodied reds. Here are a few favorite recommendations.

Whites

Begin with a couple of bottles of dry Riesling, a versatile white wine that is refreshing and compatible with a large number of entrées, such as grilled pork chops and broiled scallops. Then add a couple of bottles of crisp Sauvignon Blanc, either white Bordeaux (very dry and minerally) or a California version with good acidity but more fruitiness, such as those from Napa Valley. Complete the white selections with two bottles of Pinot Gris from Oregon, Sonoma Valley or the Alsace region of northeast France.

Pinks

Don't forget the pinks. Rosé wines are perfect for springtime entertaining, either as a refreshing aperitif or with lighter dishes such as grilled chicken and salmon. Try two bottles of Pinot Noir rosé from California.

Reds

Next, complete the case with a few light reds such as Valpolicella from Italy and a Rhône Valley red from southeastern France. The Valpolicella is great with antipasto and other light Italian foods, including pastas with red or white sauces. For meatier dishes, go with a slightly heavier Rhône red, expressing the tart and palate-cleansing flavors of Grenache and Syrah grapes.

Sparkling

Finally, add sparkling wines from the United States, Spain, or Italy. A favorite springtime bubbly is Prosecco from Italy with its light touch of sweetness. You might also select a Cava from Spain. And a brut (dry) sparkling wine from California or New York State would be just right to kick off a party with hors d’oeuvres or end it with dessert.