Labor Day

Labor Day weekend cometh. Even if autumnal equinox is more than two weeks away, the weekend is easy excuse for a last garden gathering or final shorts-and-flip-flops party before kids trek back to school and hazy-lazy-crazy days fade to memories.

Winning summer wines are crisp, light, refreshing, fun, and usually white. Why not chill some and savor a sip or two as summer surrenders?

Sauvignon Blanc can be ideal summer wine. It’s crisp acidity and flavors pair with everything from garden salads to shellfish on ice, catfish, and artichoke dip. With that versatility, it’s hard to go wrong pouring a bottle from New Zealand or Sancerre at an upscale soiree. Or quaff a 1.5 liter value play at a bathing suits and beach blankets nosh around the pool.

Good old Chardonnay in its light persona can hold its own in the good old summertime. Consider un-oaked versions with eager hints of melons and oranges and crisp hot-day-friendly acidity.

Pinot Gris/Griggio will have more substance and color than most other whites and will bring fresh, fruity, sweet fragrant deliciousness to your outdoor table.

Speaking of fragrance, grab some Gewurztraminer if your party includes ribs, grilled chicken, or pasta salad.

Finally, Riesling can be righteous when its light, fruity, sweet personality shows.

All suggestions share a penchant for perky lightness and frolicking fruitiness, perfect pours for summer’s swan song.


• Barefoot Chardonnay. Bright, lemony, hints of mandarin orange. California. $7

• St. Supery Oak Free Chardonnay. Green apples, cantaloupe, pears, melons. California. $18

• Chateau Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris. Smooth and dry, peach and star fruit. Washington. $10

• Columbia Crest Riesling Two Vines. Pears, apples, off-dry. Washington. $8

• King’s Bridge Mosel Riesling. Delicate bouquet, fruity, crisp, graceful sweetness. Germany. $13.50

• Fire Road Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Passion fruit, honeysuckle. New Zealand. $12

• Oscar Brillant Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc). Tasty, crisp, refreshing; touch of sweetness, bright minerality, acidity. France. $20