2011 Berger Gruner
$15.99, Riley’s Wines of the World (1 liter)
There are wines I specifically associate with spring. Prosecco, a bright sparkling wine from Italy, is one; grüner veltliner is another. Inspired by the warming weather, I recently re-tried a “gruvey” at the Corral Room (the Tornado Steakhouse’s downstairs bar) and remembered how much I liked this fresh, peachy Austrian white.
One of the most vegetable-friendly whites around, grüner veltliner is also an excellent bargain. The New York Times’ Eric Asimov called an earlier vintage of the Berger “not a complex wine, but ... satisfying.” Find the ’11 Berger in a liter bottle at Riley’s for about $16.
Contra Costa County, Calif.
Steve’s on University
A consistently easy drinking blend from one of California’s top “Rhone rangers,” the Cline Cashmere is an approachable red made for grilling. Comprised of about one-quarter each grenache, syrah, mourvedre and petite sirah, Cline sources the Cashmere from 30-year-old vines in Oakley, “dry-farmed and head-pruned to develop flavorful fruit.
Cline’s budget-friendly zinfandel and cool climate syrah are also tasty, and easy to find in Madison. Find the Cashmere at Steve’s on University for about $14.
Lindsay Christians covers Madison life for The Capital Times. She occasionally pours wine tastings for Barriques.