2011 Berger Gruner

Veltliner

Kremstal, Austria

$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.

2011 Cline

Cashmere

Contra Costa County, Calif.

$13.99,

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.

— Lindsay Christians

Since 2008, Lindsay Christians has been writing about fine arts and food for The Capital Times. She loves eating at the bar, going to the theater, fine wine and good stories. She lives on the east side with her husband, two cats and too many cookbooks.

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