April refreshes. Snowbells and crocuses give way to daffodils and tulips. There are hints of good times ahead. And lively white wines join in the festivities.
From Italy, consider the 2009 Ceretto Blangè Langhe Arneis ($26), a delightful Piedmontese wine with an undercurrent of pear. It's an especially fine choice with seafood and lighter chicken dishes.
France beckons with refined wines from Alsace. Look for the floral, minerally, fruity 2009 Dopff & Irion Riesling ($15), which gets your attention both for the flavor and the price. Try this one with shellfish or sushi. The 2007 Dopff & Irion Pinot Gris Tradition ($19) delivers refreshment and easygoing style, marked by peach and plum, complementing everything from antipasti to Thai fare.
Visit California via the slightly floral 2009 Clos du Bois Sonoma Reserve Chardonnay ($18), which arrives with pear and citrus in tow. It's ready for shellfish. Enjoy the crisp, round 2008 Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($25) with simply prepared cod or red snapper.
Ripe and fruity, toasty and full, the 2007 Robert Mondavi Chardonnay Reserve ($48) brings in a creamy, rich introduction to Napa Valley, with lemon and apple notes. Ideal with lobster. The buttery, soulful 2009 Chappellet Napa Valley Chardonnay ($32) offers tropical fruit as well as inviting suggestions of apricot and peach. And the 2008 Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Chardonnay ($29) comes through with lush texture, subtle suggestions of peach and pear, plus a slightly floral aroma.