Welcome, friends, to Fourth of July week! Like so many Americans, I plan to embrace our nation’s tradition of giving thanks to all those who have served, and appreciate our freedom and all that it engenders for the citizens of the United States. To do that properly, I will most certainly need a cuvee companion.
If you too, find yourself searching for a libation to celebrate our liberation, allow me to make some suggestions:
- With the holiday smack in the middle of summer, folks tend to crave something refreshing and light to quench their thirst. Start with a Rose, which will also complement the fruit and light veggies that are so often the prelude to a beautiful summer barbeque. I like Anne Amie Cuvee Rose, which is a fantastic expression of what a pinot noir rose can be. A local favorite of mine (and SO worth it at $14/bottle if you can get your hands on it) is the 2011 Boxwood Estate Rose, a bright, flavorful blend of Merlot, Cab Franc, and Malbec.
- Did someone say barbeque? Fourth of July just isn’t the same without the grill. If you plan to partake in this American pastime, consider a wine that will stand up to the smoke and bold flavors of barbeque. Try a full-bodied Malbec (stay with the New World versions – Argentina, Chile or the good ‘ole U-S-of-A) which offer bold, dark fruit flavors and structured tannins that won’t fade in the face of a zesty spice rub. A big, spicy California Zin will also work well with the traditional BBQ fare (Ravenswood Zins from Sonoma are always a solid choice).
- Don’t forget the Sparklers! What would the 4th of July be without a little bit of celebration in a glass? It’s impossible to go wrong with any of the spectacular sparkling wines from Domaine Carneros. They even have a festive rose, and an amazing blanc de blancs (meaning that it comes from all white grapes) called Le Reve, which translates to “the dream.” Believe me, it lives up to its name. If you have a crowd that likes sweeter wines, and is willing to try something different, try The Chook Sparkling Shiraz. Hailing from the land down under, The Chook offers vivid notes of raspberry and cherry with just a little sweetness to accommodate the dessert and firework portion of the evening.
Whatever beverage strikes your fancy this Fourth of July, be sure to remember the true meaning of the celebration and give thanks to all those who have fought (and are still fighting) to win and protect our freedom. Cheers to you, America!