With spring finally approaching, and the warm weather conjuring up thoughts of summertime leisure, the big, warming reds of winter just don’t excite us anymore. Rather, most of us anyway, are looking for easy-drinking wines to enjoy on those first warm days of spring that call for lighter meals and dining alfresco. While warmer days may tempt us to go for white, if only as validation to ourselves that winter is finally behind us, I find that in the early days of spring a light, fruity red is more satisfying to me than white. So what kind of red should you look for? Votto Vines’ Monte Del Fra Bardolino is the perfect wine to transition you from the rich, tannic reds of winter to the light, refreshing whites of summer. A blend of Rondinella, Corvina and Sangiovese, Bardolino is made in northern Italy’s Veneto region. While the blend is very similar to its neighboring Valpolicella, Bardolino is a far lighter red, drank fresh (within 2 years of the vintage date) so as to preserve the essence of the fruit character. While many Bardolinos on the market are fruity, characterless quaffs, Monte Del Fra makes a Bardolino with much more interest. With bright acidity and hints of strawberry, dark cherry and mocha, this wine is no doubt a crowd-pleaser. Bardolino marries well with a variety of dishes including cheeses, pasta or lighter meats, although it’s just as satisfying enjoyed on its own while sitting outside on a beautiful spring day.