Fourth of July wine suggestions are fraught with patriotic paradox and peril.
Patriotic call: California zinfandel, quintessential American wine. But zin is bold, fruity, high alcohol; drink early in heat and you pass out before firework’s rocket red glare. Not cool, dude.
Historical call: Madeira, “wine of the revolution,” wine Betsy Ross sipped while stitching Old Glory. Like zin, however, high alcohol. Colonial heroes quaffed it because it made it across the Atlantic unspoiled. Madeira is delicious Portuguese dessert wine, not a hot day, day-long sipper.
Which brings us to ideal July Four pour, even if manly men and wannabe wine snobs snipe: rosé.
Rosé is real wine. It is not training-wheel swill for fawns venturing past sweet whites, nor refuge for those bullied by big reds. Rosé is splendid wine—serve it chilled, enjoy its delightful color, savor its excellence. Rosé is worthy wine to celebrate blessings we enjoy on our great national holiday.
• Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2014: Lovely, salmon pink; watermelon, cherry; crisp, refreshing, juicy, excellent acidity; served chilled as aperitif, picnic pleaser or with flavorful fish. $14
• Christoval Vineyards Rosé of Mouvèdre 2012: Ripe strawberry, watermelon, sweet cherry, cranberry; fresh, tasty fruit, medium-dry, clean; nice weight, savory elements; all-Texas grapes. $18
• Château de Trinquevedel Tavel (rosé) 2013: Cherry, raspberry, strawberry, pepper, passion fruit, citrus tang and minerality on finish; Ernest Hemingway was big Tavel fan; this is no sissy pour. $18
• Saved Magic Maker Rosé 2013: Lovely rose color, bone-dry blend of seven grapes, led by grenache and including tokai friulano (you don’t stumble on that one every day); exotic California pour. $20
• Justin Rosé 2014: Vivid strawberry, cherry nose; raspberry, melon, bell pepper join strawberry, cherry on palate; crisp, light body; finds balance, reveals fruit when not served fully chilled. $20
• Boschendal Brut Rosé NV: Clean, straightforward, lovely rose colored South Africa sparkling; pinot noir, pinch of chardonnay; red fruits, redcurrant, pomegranate; dry, complex from 12 months on lees. $24
• Do not forget where many of us started: Mateus—slightly sparkling Portuguese rosé ($6), Riunite— barely bubbly Italian lambrusco rosé ($6), and white zinfandel—a rosé by another name ($5).
Last round: Wine is the reason I get up every afternoon.
Email Gus at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow tasting notes on Twitter @gusclemens. Website: gusclemens.com. Facebook: Gus Clemens on Wine.