July has arrived, the 4th is just days away, and summer is officially in full swing. Yesterday, in fact, from my home base in Philadelphia, I actually found myself a bit chilly in the morning when I realized that the temperature had dipped below 85!
With the holiday weekend nearly upon us, then, it seems like a good time to discuss a couple of wines to enjoy--easy-to-drink, food-friendly bottlings that will work at the upcoming weekend’s barbecues.
I’ve been having a lot of fun lately with the Concha y Toro Xplorador series, particularly the Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere, both of which seem perfectly suited to the food and the mood of the holiday. The wines from Pine Ridge and ForeFront have been showing really well, too--Pine Ridge’s Chenin Blanc - Viognier should be a standard in your seasonal arsenal. Helfrich’s Rieslings, Gewurztraminers, and Pinot Blancs are spectacular. The spicy elegance of a Zantho Zweigelt or the more lush pleasures of Michel Rolland’s Clos de los Siete, from Argentina, will sing with holiday weekend cookouts. And for dessert--this idea is from a perfectly timed and very thoughtful press release I recently received--a pairing of ‘smores and Port, which seems like the kind of thing that we all should have been enjoying for years already, and a fantastically fun way to celebrate the holiday weekend.
(NB: I’ll be posting tasting notes on all of these wines in the coming weeks. For now, though, just drink and enjoy. There will be time for analysis later.)