Wine Wednesday: Spring Sips to Celebrate the Season

by Robin Barr Sussman on April 19, 2023 in Food+Drink,

Out with coats, heavy meals and stiff drinks. In with cool breezes, wildflowers, sunshine and fresh wines. Spring has sprung, and here’s your wine tip sheet guide for every fun occasion this season!

Earth Day Gems

Photo courtesy Benziger Family Winery.

Earth Day is April 22, so grab one of these sustainably crafted California wines to celebrate our planet. Benziger, a pioneer in the “green” wine movement, crafts myriad selections – try its recently released balanced chardonnay and silky Bella Luna pinot noir. Markham Vineyards’ sustainably made The Altruist ’18 is a velvety merlot red blend with opulent notes of black cherry, raspberry jam, vanilla bean and toast. Napa Valley’s Markham has a legacy of producing merlot-based wines and boasts an all-women winemaking team.

Texas Stars

Photo courtesy William Chris Vineyards.

Floral and fresh, Lost Draw ’21 Uplift blanc does exactly that with its dry white blend of rich Rhone varietals. Its ’22 picpoul blanc is powerfully fragrant and tart – think what fresh lemon does to an oyster. And the William Chris ’20 Moonlight blend of mourvèdre and cinsault is savory, smokey and flirty (serve chilled). WCWC is the parent company of Texas Hill Country wineries: William Chris Vineyards, Lost Draw, and the new estate-only brand Uplift, along with Skeleton Key and Sway rosé.

Special Occasion

Photo courtesy Arkenstone.

With Mother’s Day around the corner and wedding celebrations in bloom, you’ll want impressive bottles on hand. Consider the intensely zippy Arkenstone estate reserve ’17 sauvignon blanc and ‘20 estate blanc. For crisp Burgundian-style Russian River Valley chardonnay and Bordeaux style cabernet sauvignon, count on elegantly made Jordan wines. Bouchaine, the oldest operating winery in Carneros, makes over 20 wines including an excellent pinot noir, pinot gris and syrah. And Sojourn Cellars is embarking on its 20th vintage crafting wines from celebrated vineyards in Sonoma County and Napa Valley – snag its sommelier-approved chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, or rosé of pinot noir.

Alfresco Delights

Photo courtesy Bricoleur Vineyards.

For that cool choice that pairs with grilling and chilling, picnics on the fly, or a thoughtful hostess gift, reach for The Paring. Youthful and elegant, its sauvignon blanc and powerhouse red blend are wines from renowned vineyards in Santa Barbara. Look to Spain for the palate cleansing, whisper of pink Sedosa organic rosé, or easy opening, affordable Radio Boka verdejo, a citrusy white. Bricoleur’s entire portfolio is lip-smacking but being there in Sonoma County is even better.

Life of the Party

Photo courtesy J Vineyards & Winery.

Want to please everyone? Pick giant fresh-cut roses from California or J Vineyards’ stunning sparkling rosé. Optionally, pop Korbel’s Natural,’ a snappy blend of the finest Russian River valley pinot noir and chardonnay with tart green apple and peach notes, very low sugar, and creamy bubbles. Gran Castillo Rocio brut cava hits the middle ground between dry and slightly fruity with a gentle price tag.

Road Trip Ready

Photo courtesy Juggernaut Wines.

New Juggernaut Wines have eye-catching alpha-predator labels and the quality wine over delivers for $20 (at retailers and groceries nationwide). Named after the Horse Heaven Hills AVA in Washington state, H3 wines are by renowned Columbia Crest Winery. Quaffable H3 ‘21 rosé is ready for the ice chest with a screw top. Finally, Liquid Light ‘21 chardonnay from Washington state has what everyone wants: fewer calories, less bottle weight, and less dough, but still lush, light and as fresh as spring!

Buy Wines: Spec’s, Total Wine & More, HEB, Houston Wine Merchant, Austin Wine Merchant, online at each winery.


Cover photo courtesy Jordan Vineyard & Winery.

Robin Barr Sussman ( is a freelance culinary and travel writer who studied at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone, Calif. As a chef for Sonoma County wineries, her specialty was food and wine pairing. Sussman is a columnist for Houston CityBook Magazine, Prime Living and Houston House & Home. Her work also appears in Texas Monthly, Fodor’s and Private Clubs Magazine.