In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb: Perfect Wine Flights for Spring

March is the gateway from winter to spring, from puffy coats to light jackets, from hunkering down to drinks on the patio. This means it’s also a great moment to transition from those full-bodied winter wines to something lighter. Maybe popping the cork on something zippy and fresh will signal to the universe that it’s time for warmer weather.

Here’s a rundown of some popular grown-in-PA grapes. Put together a fun flight that elucidates the gradient between full-bodied wines and lighter varietals. Drinking them in sequence tells a story that’s perfect for spring.

Full-Bodied Reds

Cabernet Sauvignon: This is the classic red, boasting bold tannins and notes of black currant and tobacco.

Petite Sirah: Looking for something a bit more unusual? This deep, dark red features flavors of blueberry, licorice, plums, and black pepper.

Medium-Bodied Reds

MerlotThis easy-drinking grape produces wines that are smooth and fresh, with prominent berry notes.

Cabernet Franc: This varietal is known for its savory, bell pepper-like flavors, high acidity and complex aroma — inhale hints of tobacco, spice, and violets.

Light-Bodied Reds

Pinot Noir: Lighter in color than most reds, this beloved varietal evolves as it ages: The flavors of red berry and black cherry are increasingly complemented by earthy, mushroom notes.

Zweigelt: Austrian in origin, this varietal produces distinctive wines that showcase exotic spice, cherry, and floral flavors alongside aromas of cinnamon and violets.

Full-Bodied Whites

Oaked Chardonnay: Aged in oak barrels, this popular white picks up aromas of vanilla and spice from the wood; those flavors compliment notes of baked apple, grilled pineapple, and butterscotch.

Viognier: This lush wine — which can also be aged in oak — is beloved for its aromas of peach, tangerine, honeysuckle and rose petal.

Medium-Bodied Whites

Pinot Grigio: This dry, zesty varietal is acidic and bright, with notes of lemons, green apples, and honeysuckle.

Sauvignon Blanc: A refreshing wine, this white is known for its minerality and intense aromatics — think passionfruit, grass, and tomatillo.

Light-Bodied Whites

Albariño: Bone-dry and rich with citrus flavors, this varietal marries a subtle brininess with aromas of grapefruit, honeysuckle, and pear.

Riesling: Available in both dry and off-dry styles, this wine’s calling card is its high acidity. Tasting notes include apples, apricots, peaches, and pears.