Why does the Wine Curmudgeon do a Fourth of July wine post (for seven consecutive years, in fact)? Because the holiday is a birthday party, and what do we do at birthday parties? Drink wine and celebrate, of course.
Consider these bottles for your Fourth of July wine — and don’t forget the porch wine concept, where what you drink has as much to do with how hot it is as anything else:
• Villa des Anges Old Vines Rosé 2013 ($9, purchased, 12%): This rose from the south of France, made with cinsault, features barely ripe strawberries and is so fresh that it almost doesn’t taste like wine. Highly recommended, and certain to be in the 2015 $10 Hall of Fame. Yet another example of what a great grape cinsault is for rose.
• Pacific Rim Riesling 2011 ($10, sample, 11.5%): Washington state white is medium dry, with a touch of lime fruit, honey in the middle, and wonderful oiliness. A sophisticated sweet wine, and especially for the price. Chill this, sit on the porch, and you won’t mind too much how hot it is.
• Handcraft Petite Sirah 2011 ($10, sample, 14.5%): Intriguing, inexpensive California red that benefits from the addition syrah and zinfandel — more structure, less over the top fruit. It has petite sirah’s plumminess and spice, but isn’t too heavy (despite the alcohol).
• Gloria Ferrer Private Cuvee NV ($15, purchased, 12.5%): This sparkling wine, without a UPC code, was on sale at Kroger at one-third of what it would have cost in the restaurant where it was supposed to be. How it ended up in a grocery store is a mystery, but if you see it at this price, buy it — firm bubbles, some caramel, and fresh green apple fruit. Failing that, the Ferrer Sonoma Brut, often on sale around this price, is an equally fine value.
More Fourth of July wine:
• Fourth of July wine 2013
• Fourth of July wine 2012
• Wine of the week: Stephen Vincent Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
• My lunch with Provence