July 4th holiday will be a four-day weekend for many, which amps up the challenge of what wine to tipple when you have all that time on your patriotic pinkies.
This year, let’s resist the urge to go with some kitschy patriot-connected theme.
Summer celebrations call for less alcoholic, sweeter, chilled wines. Big reds don’t play well with day-long efforts of adding to the heat by cooking outside on open fires and eating salt-slathered snacks while hungry mosquitos eat you accompanied by the flash and thunder of illegal explosive devices.
Which rules out zin, the quintessential American wine.
You could go with Concord grapes, but they make better grape juice than wine. Maderia is called the “wine of the revolution” because it was mainstay colonial pour, but Maderia works best beside crackling hearths in the howls of winter, not high summer in high-tech America.
Do something revolutionary this year: consider a rosé play.
Rosé can be much more than alcoholic Kool-Aid. Rosé done right is real wine for real wine drinkers.
Receiving free, unsolicited bottles of wine is an unalloyed joy of writing a wine column. Spring brought a rush of rosé samples, a clear signal makers think rosy-pink is the next big drink.
With heroic and selfless dedication for you readers, I tasted them all. Some are not easily available, but they are noted to inspire you to explore this often-dismissed category. Overthrow same-old. Ask your favorite wine shop to roust up a rosé for Independence Day.
• Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2012. Crisp, dry; tangy cherry, slice of watermelon, splinter of sandalwood; nice flourish on finish; good South African value. $10
• Skinnygirl California Rosé 2011. Light pink, very mild; cherry, watermelon; won’t wow—won’t offend, good fit for folks not yet really into wine. $12
• Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec 2011. Wonderful deep rose color; ripe strawberry, cherry; clean; hint of sweet; perfect for summer. $13
• Kramer Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir 2012. Spectacular nose; strawberry-watermelon-peach; serious palate-cleansing acidity; not likely to find in store near you, but reflects 2013 zeitgeist. $18
• Ghost Hill Cellars The Spirit of Pinot Noir Rosé 2012. Big strawberry, raspberry, apricot; touch tannin, faintly dry, liltingly delightful. $20
Last round: Today is a wine kind of day. So was yesterday. I’m betting tomorrow will be, too.