12 light, crisp wines for spring cleaning

It’s spring! Time for spring cleaning. Time to swab out the garage and wash down the patio.

It’s also time to spring clean your wine cellar. Time to tuck those heavy Amarone and Barolos in the back and bring forth the light, crisp wines that go with warmer weather.

Chardonnay is a good example. You can put away those august chards that taste like butter, even caramel, from secondary fermentation and like toast from long barrel aging and turn to the chards lower in alcohol from being grown in cooler climes, made lean by stainless steel fermentation and no oak aging, giving them a crisp snap when sipped.

It works with red wines, too. Pull out a crisp Valpolicella from cool northern Italy, or a pinot noir made light and lively from cool-weather vineyards in California or Oregon.

Time for rosés that are light and crisp and dry, just the thing for picnics and such.

And, of course, bubbly. Not the heavy ones, the bruts and blanc de noirs made mostly of pinot noir, but the lighter ones — blanc de blancs, made mostly with white grapes, or prosecco, made exclusively from the light-and-lively grape called glera, with lighter alcohol from cool-weather vineyards.

Here are some examples.


▪ 2013 Pio Cesare Chardonnay “L’Altro,” Piemonte DOC, Italy: crisp and light, with aromas and flavors of lemons, limes and kiwis; $23.

▪ 2013 Alois Lageder Haberle Pinot Bianco, Alto Adige DOC: crisp and light and lively, with aromas of camellias and flavors of apples and apricots, $23.

▪ 2013 Allegrini Valpolicella DOC (corvina, rondinella): crisp and fruity, with aromas and flavors of tart red cherries; $17.

▪ 2013 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre “Les Caillottes” (100 percent sauvignon blanc): aromas and flavors of cut grass and flint, crisp and lean, tart finish; $40.


▪ 2013 Argento “Cool Climate Selection” Pinot Grigio, Ficha Tecnica, Mendoza, Argentina: light-bodied and crisp, with floral aromas and flavors of white peaches and minerals; $14.

▪ 2014 Sip Moscato, California (50 percent orange muscat, 50 percent muscat canelli): lightly sweet and effervescent, aromas and flavors of apricots and oranges; $12.

▪ 2012 Cantina di Soave “Re Midas” Soave, DOC (100 percent garganega): floral aromas, flavors of crisp yellow apples and citrus, light body; $10.

▪ 2013 Apothic White, California (chardonnay, riesling, pinot grigio): light and crisp and fruity, with flavors of ripe peaches and apricots; $14.

▪ 2013 Kendall-Jackson Pinot Noir, California, (100 percent pinot noir): crisp and light and fruity, with aromas and flavors of red raspberries and cherries; $20.

▪ 2013 Da Vinci Chianti DOCG (91 percent sangiovese, 9 percent merlot): aromas and flavors of tart cherries and plums, medium body, soft tannins; $45.

▪ 2014 MacPhail Family Winery Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast: rich and dry, with aromas and flavors of tart strawberries, crisp finish; $22.

▪ Nonvintage Cavicchioli 1928 Prosecco DOC Spumante Extra Dry: lightly sweet, lightly fizzy, floral aromas, white peach flavors, crisp finish; $14.