MIKE RICE

is Fish & Game’s beverage director.


“What You’re Supposed To Drink In Spring” is often just one in the long line of lies we’re told about the season. Renewal! Resurrection! Rosé! All lies to cover up the truth of the matter: spring kind of sucks. It’s mostly colder than we remember, and when it is warm we’re afraid it might have come too soon, that the buds will freeze, that we’ll never again taste a peach.

Spring is just a season, like all the rest. No need to force it to be something it’s not. No need to drink some shitty, barely pink rosé that was pulled from the tank in the dead of winter, so it would arrive in February, just because “It’s spring!” Come hang out and drink these wines instead. Drink them until you forget the distinct but unfathomable possibility of a snowstorm in May. Drink them until the good rosé gets here—don’t worry, summer is totally rosé season, too.

Gotsa Family Wines, Chinuri, 2014

The wine traditions of Georgia are perfect—wine is what’s on the table, and what’s on the table is what’s made just up the road. It’s what you drink with lunch, with dinner, with nothing at all. It is important, revered even, but not as a commodity to be bought and sold—it is life-giving. It is necessary. Gotsa’s Chinuri (a native grape variety) is vinified in qvevri, Georgia’s traditional buried earthenware vessels. It tastes fresh, and alive, but it has depth and grip, too. It’s perfect wine to have around during the infamously unpredictable spring season – drink a bottle on our little patio on 3rd Street on a warm afternoon, or next to a last-of-the-season fire in the lounge before spring gives way to summer.

Frank Cornelissen, Contadino, 2014

The humble Contadino—wine of the farmer and the peasant—is a favorite every year around these parts. It often finds its way, somehow, onto the kitchen pass and into a few glasses during a long dinner service. It’s lugged out into the field to assist with morale on an afternoon of garlic planting in the waning days of summer. And for a little while this season, it will be poured by the glass out of Magnums. Picture it: big bottles of this Sicilian field blend (predominantly Nerello Mascalese) lovingly hoisted over head and poured into your glass, to make you go glou-glou, if only you can get here. So get here!