Labor Day 8-30-2023

Next Monday brings us to the annual bittersweet pivot from the adventures and tribulations of summer to the prayed-for succor of autumn. Labor Day.

For many of us this year, September temperatures dipping into the 80s and low 90s will be a welcome relief. Soon, hopefully, the days of triple digits and record breaking will be history. Fading, too, however will be the days of beaches, baseball, and backyard barbecues. Cometh the domains of football, falling leaves, and harvest feasts.

School teachers welcome children back. Grandparents wave poignant goodbyes. Vacation adventures are relegated to memory and photos in cellphones and scrapbooks. Labor Day is the Janus-faced holiday that reminds us for everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.

In the northern hemisphere, the gathering of grapes is underway. There are sighs of relief for many. The gauntlet of late frosts and hail, of drought and sun-scorched days, of pests and careful calibrations about which day, which hour to pick has been run. Now magic shifts to stainless steel and wooden vessels and labyrinthine decisions and processes. If all goes well, the fruit of the vine and work of human hands will produce bottled poetry. These are the seasons the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in them.

Tasting notes

• Cellier des Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Grenache-Syrah Rosé 2021: Perfect summertime rosé with fresh, fruity flavors, zippy acidity. $10-15 Link to my review

• Zardetto Z Prosecco Brut NV: Inviting, fruity, classic, clean, crisp. $12-17 Link to my review

• Valdo Numero 10 Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG 2019: Sophisticated, nuanced. Made using the traditional method instead of the more common tank method. $14 Link to my review

• Gran Castillo Rocío Brut Cava NV: Fresh, fruity, some complexity. There always is value in Spanish cava. $14-18 Link to my review

• Union Wine Co. Kings Ridge Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2021: Straightforward, fruity, pleasing. Delightfully smooth, supple. $15-17 Link to my review

• Gioacchino Garofoli Kòmaros Rosato Marche IGT 2022: Fun, light, fruity delight. Marvelous, unctuous mouthfeel. $16-20 Link to my review

• Scout & Cellar Scout Wild Sauvignon Blanc: Fits classic SB “salad in a glass” profile. Solid, easy drinker, fresh, tasty. $18 Link to my review

• Biltmore Reserve Rosé North Carolina 2021: Mellow easy drinker. Delivers palate-pleasing touch of sweetness. All the fruit you want in a rosé. $18-25 Link to my review

• Fleurs de Prairie Languedoc Rosé 2022: Lilting, light, demure effort led by grenache noir and syrah. Bright, crisp acidity are major features. $19 Link to my review

• The Paring Sauvignon Blanc 2019: Serious iteration of sauv blanc with medium-plus body and robust fruit and tanginess. $20-25 Link to my review

Last round: Why did Humpty Dumpty have a great fall? To compensate for this miserably hot summer. Wine time.