The first weekend for a glass of chilled white has arrived — so what should it be? Perhaps a refreshing Riesling or a wild Sauvignon Blanc?

I say neither. Wait a few more weeks for those thirst quenchers. The white wine we need now is one that will help us visualize what is coming in the months ahead — heat, the lovely fragrances of flowers and fruits, and most importantly, play and fun.

The wine that best fast forwards us into summer fun is the spicy, exotic Gewurztraminer. Gewurz (the short form for this grape) originated in a cool region in the north of Italy. Wines from that place are wonderfully refreshing, delicately spicy, and summery in feeling. The region best known for Gewurz is the French province of Alsace where they craft the wine in a rich, super spicy style. Very heady and for some, very sexy. Fantastic as they are, I favour the lighter Italian style at this time of year because of their liveliness. They echo spring’s hit of energy, and you can drink lots.

Ontario’s Gewurzs are mainly Italian in style. Downright delicious stuff for a sunny April afternoon or early evening. Get yourself a bottle of Jackson-Triggs and I guarantee it will brighten your world. It might even take you back to your first love!

Some have Gewurz with Asian food but I think it’s best on its own. It’s a feel-good drink. A welcome-to-summer celebration wine.

>> My recommendations for this Saturday’s Vintages release are posted on www. (weekly picks/Vintages).

Billy Munnelly has been writing about wine for 25 years and is the author of Canada's largest selling wine book, Billy's Best Bottles. Sign up for his free monthly e-letter at

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