The consistently mild weather of May means that it's time to move the party outside, whether that's a Hampden backyard hideaway, a Federal Hill roof deck, or a picnic at Sherwood Gardens. We've found three wines to help you spring outside and take full advantage of this beautiful time of year.
L'Antica Quercia Matiu Prosecco Superiore
$20, Potomac Selections
Sparkling wine is a woefully overlooked category; one needn't spend Champagne money to access the festive atmosphere a bottle of bubbly begets. Prosecco is the national aperitif of Italy. This one delights with its elegant texture, dry character, and refreshing finish. Serve it on its own or pair with hors d'oeuvres.
Iona Sauvignon Blanc 2014
$18, Cape Starz
Sauvignon Blanc could be the official white wine grape of Spring, and this South African example highlights why—cool, clean, crisp, yet blooming with attractively light lemon and herbal notes. Grilled shrimp, chicken salad, or cheese plates are all natural companions for this one.
St. Cosme Cotes du Rhône 2013
$16, The Country Vintner
Here's a Cotes du Rhône that swaps the heady intensity of the Grenache grape for the cool zing and peppery spice of Syrah. It's a delicious bottle of wine, with bright, fleshy cherry tones and some grip on the finish. What to serve? Burgers, of course, or any grilled meat, but also hearty transitional dishes like lentils.