July Fourth

Fourth of July wine suggestions are fraught with patriotic paradoxes.

You can go historic and recommend Madeira from the Portuguese island.
Madeira was wine Betsy Ross allegedly sipped sewing Old Glory, but Madeira is heavy, sweet, and high alcohol. Not suitable for the heat of patriotic parties.

You can go quintessentially American and recommend California zinfandels. Zin is Left Coast’s iconic contribution to wine, but it also is poorly positioned for Independence Day because it usually is hot—easily achieving 15-plus percent alcohol. Again, not optimal for outdoors in July.

This year, July Fourth means a long weekend and, probably, a serious fun-in-the-sun party. That calls for white and light, plus pleasing pours for a parade of palates. Gallo has a solution: Barefoot Wine.

Barefoot caught the moscato wave in recent years to become the hottest cooler wine in the country. Moscato wines certainly are not sophisticated, but they can be delicious and, when well chilled, a wonderful pool and patio pour that pleases just about everyone. Barefoot also applies their formula to varietals and blends other than moscato. They are simple, sweet-to-slightly slightly sweet, crisp, sometimes with touch of fizz. Plus, they all cost less than a Hamilton ($10). God bless America.

Tasting notes (a sampling, there are more Barefoot bottles than listed here):

• Barefoot Moscato. Barefoot’s big sweet selection; big fruit, peach, apricot, citrus tinge; light, lively; sweet but not overpowering, cloyingly sweet. $8

• Barefoot Bubbly Red Moscato. Sweet sparkling; cherry, raspberry, orange; a sweet wine people who don’t like sweet wine can enjoy; bravo. $8

• Barefoot Chardonnay. Honey, peach, lemon, mandarin orange; smooth summer & pool play; not epic chard, but tasty, easy drinking value. $7

• Barefoot Refresh Crisp Red. Summertime winner; light, lively, sweet raspberry, cherry; pinot noir-pinot rosé-pinot grigio; pour over ice. $8

• Barefoot Merlot. Simple, cherry cola, some black fruits; soft, low tannin, no-offense pour that will not embarrass or make you poor. $5

• Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée Sparkling Wine. Green apple, peach; clean, dry, nice acidity—will pair well with food; simple, affordable. $9

Last round: Definition of wine snob—someone who knows a little more about wine than you do.