July 4th wine

Okay, July 4th is not slam-dunk wine day.

That said, some readers prefer wine over suds during shorts, halter top and flip-flop festivities celebrating our nation’s birth. This column is for you, patriot.

It will be hot. Texas, high summer, it will be hot.


• Sparkling wine cold out of frig. What better way to celebrate independence? Pop cork and let is sail into the sky like a bottle rocket.

• Sangria. Key is plenty of fruit marinated overnight. Quality of wine doesn’t really matter, neither does red or white; boxed wine is fine. Do not use sangria wine. Throw in shots of triple sec or Grand Marnier. Add ice, chilled ginger ale, strawberries or raspberries before serving.

• Rosé wines. Rosé wines deliver tastes of watermelon and strawberries. Can you get more summer than that? You also can serve rosé very, very cold in the good old summer time.

• White zinfandel. You probably did not expect white zin recommendation from wine columnist, but—heck—a lot of people like it. This column’s foundation: enjoy what you like, no matter what others think. Chill to near freezing and sip in the sunshine.

• Finally, Madeira: wine used to toast Declaration of Independence; Betsy Ross’s libation while sewing Old Glory. Good enough for heroes. Good enough for you fighting back tears as our flag is still there amid the firecracker’s red glare. Madeira is very robust (17-20 percent alcohol). Don’t sip at noon. This is end-of-evening wine. God bless America.


• Cook’s Brut Champagne (not sweet) and Extra Dry Champagne (a littler sweeter than brut). Apples and pears; value play for sun fun. $7.30

• Robert Oatley Rosé of Sangiovese. Dry, distinctive red fruits, watermelon wow. $12

• Sutter Home White Zinfandel. Best selling wine in the U.S. Light body, slightly sweet, balanced freshness. Serve it cold. $4.50

• Leacock’s Madeira Rainwater Medium Dry. Caramel, ripe melon and apricot; mesquite smoke finish. Favorite of Founding Fathers. $17