Fourth of July

Just in time for party prep stock-up shopping, here are five awesome wines for your Fourth of July party! We’ve got some suggestions for wines that go well with your cookout. If you’re cooking out for the 4th, you’ve got a big task ahead of you. Meat, sweet corn, creamy salads and tangy barbecued chicken are all yummy but really different in taste and texture but we’ve got you covered with these 5. Grab some wine, grab some friends and celebrate summer with these wines


One surefire trick for pouring a wine that will match well with everything on the table is to put out some bubbles. To keep with the American focus of the holiday chose something from Gruet, a fantastic sparkling wine producer that’s located in Albuquerque, NM. You really can’t go wrong with any of their sparkling (or still) wines, but my pick for the Fourth is the NV Brut Rosé. Gruet’s wines are very widely available and this one should be priced around $15.99. The rosé is 100% Pinot Noir with 24 months ageing en tiragé. It’s a beautiful and fun bright pink. It opens with fresh notes of summer fruit – strawberry, raspberry and red cherry. There’s a lovely, fine mousse and a long finish with notes of pretty floral and fruit backed by a bright acidity which will help it stand up to just about any food you throw at it.

Tablas Creek’s single varietal wines are excellent. The Picpoul Blanc is a quirky and fun example of the line. The Southern Rhone grape grows quite well in sunny California and produces a wine that’s quite aromatic and lush, but still remains structured with notes of lime and wet rock. On the nose, this wine will show ripe white peach, pineapple, lemon, lime and ocean salt. On the palate, it follows up with grilled pineapple, wet rock, coconut and lime curd. If you’re putting down some spice and smoke flavors on the grill, this wine will stand up to those strong flavors while also matching nicely with grilled shrimp, marinated tuna or ceviche. I like it with chips and salsa, too. Retail pricing should be around $30.

Everyone’s drinking pink this summer and we’re no different. Rosé is such a versatile wine which goes well with food and also goes down pretty easy all on its own. The Charles and Charles rosé from Columbia Valley in Washington state is a great wine for group gatherings. It should retail at right around the $10 mark, but it drinks above that price. It’s a blend of quite a few beefy red grapes, mainly Syrah (67%) augmented with 14$ Cabernet Sauvignon, 95 Grenache and some Mourvedre, Cinsault and Counoise rounding out the blend. In your glass, it’s a pretty pale salmon with strong notes of watermelon, strawberry, lemon peel and cherry. It’s got a bright finish backed with soft acid, more watermelon and strawberry and some tropical notes of guava and pineapple. Open one of these as soon as you get the grill going, and just enjoy it with burgers, barbecue and salads.

You can’t really go wrong with any Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley. The terror of that area produces Pinots which are well-structured but not over-the-top like Pinots from warmer climates. For the Fourth, look for the Argyle Winery Pinots. Their entry-level is party-priced at about $16, and it’s a versatile medium-bodied red that will please a crowd. The nose is immediately identifiable as a Pinot, offering up bright cranberry, tart cherry, rose petal and cinnamon. It’s a well-concentrated wine with a long finish, nice silky tannins and well-balanced acidity. This is a very food-friendly crowd pleaser that will flex between chicken, pork and lighter preparations of grilled beef.

Markham’s Merlot is a serious Napa producer at a really attractive price of around $20 retail. The 2015 vintage is both powerful and elegant. Dark ruby with blackberry, plum and black cherry fruit followed by mint, vanilla and some toast. The palate is warm with cherry, plum, black raspberry, cola and nut flavors. The finish is long and the tannins are still very present, which, along with the long oak aging give this wine a lot of structure and weight. This wine wants meat and will get along fantastically with burgers. Even better, pair this with some lamb burgers with smoked gouda and garlicy aioli.

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