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Seasonal Sipping: Spring Can Hang Me Up the Most

Spring is supposedly in full swing, summer close behind, and my thoughts are on racy, refreshing whites. I can almost feel the acid sting of Gruners and Sauvignon Blancs, taste their herbal-citrus-mineral flavors, see their pale, lemony shades fog up wine glasses on a hot, sun-soaked day.

But on the East Coast, Mother Nature is not having it.  Cool, rainy and damp have settled in like morose houseguests who, a week after their stay, are still vague on their departure. Even warmish days end briskly with jackets zipped and scarves tightened,  the neon-green sprays of foliage adding to the mockery.

This past weekend, Mother Nature toyed with us again: Bright, beautiful sunshine after five days of rain. My soul smiled. I took a walk. I mowed the lawn. I started to weed. But while passing neighbors chatted about the Rapture and ending it all with a drink, ominous rain clouds moved in as if on cue. The air turned cold. The sky spat.

I almost cursed, but then a sensation stopped me. Digging in the dirt, a gorgeous aroma wafted up. Rich, fragrant soil, wet leaves, the roots of yanked dandelions and clover and my God it was heavenly. Then my olfactory senses went hyper; I know this. My mouth started watering. And it hit me: Pinot Noir. This is the smell of Pinot. This, silly, is the time for Pinot.

How could I possibly want to rush through this invigorating tug-o-war between winter and summer? I needed to sip some Pinot and savor it, season and wine. The spitting skies grew meaner and for once I didn’t mind being chased inside. I tossed the weeds into a bucket, washed up and poured myself a glass of Oregon Pinot, sitting by a window to watch. For a fleeting second, I thought maybe this really is the end of the world, but quickly realized it was too beautiful.

I smelled, sipped and swooned: the moody aromas of spring’s earthen mix intertwined with the promise of summer berries; the lithe body, like new tree branches; the bright acidity, stiff as a March breeze; the long finish, as languorous as a warm summer night. The skies poured for about 20 minutes mean and hard, then a purple-tinged dusk lit the air and the aroma of wet soil settled in. This is spring, in all its temperamental glory. It won’t be around much longer; stop and savor.

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