Spring has arrived: Seasonal menu and matching wines

The bottles to accompany outdoor lunches, dinners, and picnics

Spring has arrived: Seasonal menu and matching wines

Date of publication: 25/03/2024

Living according to the rhythms of nature seems to be much more difficult than it used to be. However, there is a simple, everyday way to do it: eat in season. Land and sea offer an extraordinary variety of genuine ingredients all year round, on which you can rely for a balanced diet: putting seasonal ingredients on the table means enjoying colourful, environmentally friendly and tasty products, especially if accompanied by the right glass.

Want to celebrate the arrival of the new season in the most delicious way? Here are some ideas for preparing some great spring dishes, complete with wine to match!


Spring cooking and wine: the right bottles for appetisers


After a cold, dark and rainy winter, the days have lengthened and you can enjoy the first warmth. Those who love spending time outdoors can take advantage of the new season to arm themselves with a blanket and basket and organise a nice picnic on a meadow. And what preparation could be better suited to this spring lunch en plein air than a tasty and easy-to-prepare appetiser?


Salted Baci di Dama: one leads to another


Pretty and romantic, baci di dama can also be cooked in a savoury version by combining the two almond biscuits with a little stracchino cheese. This recipe gives the palate a truly irresistible crumbly texture, while the cream cheese gives it a mouth-watering touch of acidity.

It is mandatory in this case to leave some room in the basket for a bottle of Vermentino di Sardegna DOC, which goes perfectly with these tasty morsels. A great lover of fish, but not only, this wine with its straw-yellow colour, mottled with fascinating green reflections, makes citrus notes its hallmark, accompanied by floral hints that seem to give the sip a graceful quality. Structured and persistent, the Sardinian Vermentino arms itself with its own natural savouriness to support that of the stracchino, without ever covering it up.


Chinese rolls: more springtime than this!


Oriental cuisine also has a lot to offer in spring. In honour of the Chinese New Year - which coincides with the start of this season - it is traditional to prepare the world-famous spring rolls, consisting of a mixture of mixed vegetables (there are many variations, however) wrapped in sheets of rice paper. The whole thing is then fried to make an appetiser worthy of the best street food.

These delicacies - often eaten together with sweet and sour sauce - want a fresh wine by their side that can cleanse the palate of their greasiness. Among the best wines for spring, the ideal candidate is a Pinot Grigio delle Venezie DOC 2022, elegant and balanced, anything but timid in its aromatic expression. Pleasant notes of green apple and tropical fruit chase each other in the glass, conquering the nose, while on the palate one can enjoy a discreet structure and a full flavour. Truly excellent to drink between rolls!


Spring on your plate: irresistible starters and wine pairings


Italian gastronomy is rich and varied, but both in spring and in cold weather, pasta dishes dominate the scene, winning over diners with tasty and creamy recipes.


Creamy and tasty asparagus lasagna


If you can't miss a hearty pan of lasagna at a family lunch, you can count on an asparagus sauce, enriched with the ever-present béchamel sauce and flavoured with Parmesan cheese and nutmeg.

This spring vegetable gives enormous satisfaction in the kitchen, although it is not always easy to combine with wine, precisely because of its particular scents. But the wine industry always has the right solution, in this case a glass of Arneis Langhe DOC.

This Piedmontese white - produced from an indigenous grape variety - sports a princely straw-yellow robe with golden tones, but its character seems almost that of a rebel artist: the bouquet is in fact a picturesque mixture of acacia flowers and exotic fruit, evolving on the palate into hints of peach and citrus.


Rigatoni with saffron cream: which wine to choose?


Following in the footsteps of taste particularity, the spring months bring a prized spice to the table, obtained from a beautiful purple flower: saffron. There are those who do not appreciate its intense, earthy and slightly bitter scents, and those who instead adore these traits, with which it is possible to create very special seasonal recipes, such as a dish of rigatoni dressed with saffron cream.

Also complex to match, saffron can be worthily accompanied by the bubbles of the aromatic and refreshing Prosecco DOC. Green apple notes make the taste even more refreshing, together with hints of grapes and lime blossom. The hint of moderate acidity on the palate is ideal for cleansing the mouth of intense spice notes.


Meat or fish? When in doubt, better uncork the right wine!


When talking about seasonal produce, one automatically thinks of a richly cultivated vegetable garden, but meat and fish also follow a specific seasonality. Taking this into account means adhering to more environmentally friendly consumption, but also saving a few euros in your wallet.


Sarde a beccafico, a tasty seafood second course


As far as seafood ingredients are concerned, March is rich in mackerel, amberjack, red mullet and turbot, but also offers the basic ingredient for sarde a beccafico.

This Sicilian dish (whose name derives from the bird of the same name once hunted and eaten by the nobility, and later replaced with cheaper sardines) is prepared by rolling the fish around a mixture of breadcrumbs and various flavours (usually garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, oil, pine nuts and sultanas, but there are many local variations), then baking them in the oven and serving them with an excellent white wine, such as an organic Chardonnay Puglia IGP.

The intense aromas of this wine are just what is needed to accompany this dish: the regional terroir influences the product, giving it bewitching notes of tropical fruit, with a finish reminiscent of almonds. In the mouth it is soft, elegant and slightly vanilla.


Meat dishes... with ethnic flavours!


Those who claim that March cuisine is predominantly based on floral tones and light flavours may have to think again: even lovers of intense flavours can enjoy excellent combinations of spring dishes and wine.

Ethnic cuisine in this respect has many arrows in its bow: to surprise the taste buds and awaken them from the lethargy of the long winter, you need a delicious curry cream with pine nuts, with which to season soft chicken strips.

The delicacy of the white meat, however, combined with the captivating and bewitching spiciness of the curry, demands to be supported by an equally full-bodied and warm, intense and flavoursome, yet elegant and pleasant wine such as a Syrah Terre Siciliane IGT, which brings aromas of ripe fruit and spices to the glass and gives the palate a warm and enveloping taste experience.


Spring recipes and wine: what to drink with fruit desserts?


ricette primaverili con vino giusto in abbinamento


Spring always brings enormous satisfaction to fruit lovers, as it takes the best of the last winter months and enriches it with new ingredients. In March, it is still possible to enjoy the abundant supply of vitamin C from oranges, tangerines, lemons and grapefruit, but it is also possible to enjoy some excellent white-flesh fruit, with which to round off a spring menu with dignity.

An apple upside-down cake, for example, is a perfect snack to accompany the five o'clock tea, but it also goes very well with a Spumante Moscato. Pouring it into the glass, one can appreciate its elegant golden hue, with green reflections, but above all follow the play of its bubbles, which form a persistent and fragrant froth. The vinification of Moscato grapes gives notes of rose and sage, while the fruity identity is also perceived on the palate, sweet without being cloying.

For those who like to combine the sweetness of fruit with the bitter aftertaste of fondant, a chocolate and pear cake can be paired with a Barolo grappa.

Nebbiolo marc lives a second life thanks to this distillate with its beautiful amber colour and heady notes of vanilla, obtained from ageing inside wooden barrels. A flavour not for everyone, but one that gives great satisfaction, especially at the end of a meal!

Everything ready for the spring menu? If you still haven't found the right wine, explore the Giordano Wines catalogue... you won't regret it!

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