Soave for spring: Veni, vidi, vino from the Veneto

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The great thing about Soave — which means smooth, soft or gentle — is that once you know Soave you’ll never forget it. It’s not only the region where one of the world’s most fun and flavorful wines comes from but it’s the name of the wine too. One of the best Soaves for the money out on the market today is the Sí Soave DOC (suggested retail $9); it is a blend of 90 percent garganega and 10 percent trebbiano. The Sí Soave is perfect for your spring picnic. It comes in a cool bottle curved at the neck for an easy pour and if you forget your corkscrew, no worries. The bottle is screw cap. You’ll find the wine to be light-colored in the glass with delicate aromatics. Once you take a sip, you’ll “ahhh” yourself into the picnic moment. It’s perfect for tuna sandwiches, fried chicken or smoked fish spread and crackers. Prefer bologna sandwiches instead? No problem; the Sí Soave will make it seem like you actually imported them from Bologna.

Not to be overshadowed is the Re Midas Soave DOC (about $10). You guessed it: “Re” means “king,” and, well, Midas is Midas. What we have here is the King Midas of Soave wines; it’s the golden touch to the palate that gives it its name. Made from 100 percent garganega, the grapes are sourced from Soave vineyards located up to 1,150 feet in elevation. Grapes grown at higher elevations endure more stress, offering up wines that are intense and complex. In this case, you will find layers of fresh stone fruit (peach, apricot, etc.) with soft overtones of citrus, but most important is the crisp minerality of the wine. This is what makes it perfect for the warmer weather, and the golden touch to your picnic.

Have hummus and pita chips? Re Midas. Insalata caprese? Re Midas. Loaf of crusty bread and cheese? Re Midas.

With a name like Re Midas, every pairing is golden.

Spring has finally arrived and paradise is found! It’s no time to retreat inside; it’s time to rekindle the romance with the outdoors. Embrace the fresh air, the grass under your feet and even the pollen, which has its place in stirring our passions for the season.

As the weather warms up, we turn to young and refreshing wines that cool us down. Many turn to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio as the “go-to” varietals in warmer weather. But the wine world is indeed your oyster when it comes to white wine varietals. Most every wine region offers a white varietal that demonstrates that region’s climate, earth and overall impact on the varietal; Soave is the perfect example.

The Soave wine production zone is located in northeast Italy in the Veneto region. Perhaps you’ve heard of Venice with its romantic gondola rides along the canals, or of Verona where Romeo and Juliet became the embodiment of a tragic love story. Now that you can picture Veneto, picture gentle rolling hills, aristocratic villas, medieval towns and churches and you have beautiful Soave. A place so exquisite and rich in history can only offer up wines exquisite in expression and rich in flavor.

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