Labor Day

In this year of COVID, it is a cliché to note Labor Day 2020 will be like no other Labor Day.

I often have written Labor Day is a bittersweet, Janus-faced holiday. The lazy days of summer slip away. Swimming pools close. Grandparents say goodbye to grandkids until the harvest holiday of Thanksgiving and the reverent thanksgiving of Christmas/Hanukkah. Days grow shorter. Soon, leaves fall.

Baseball’s boys of summer wrap up their long season. The exhilaratory excitement of high school, college, and professional football beckons. Not this year. All have been altered, some destroyed by an insidious strand of RNA.

A century ago, the United States—Kansas—gave us “Spanish Flu.” This time it arose in China. Millions die. Mother Nature reminds us we are not all-powerful, not in control. No one is going to wax nostalgic about 2020. The sooner this year is in our rearview mirrors, the better.

I pray you are wearing a mask when in public. Wash your hands often and correctly. Keep social distance. Humanity—no matter your politics—is in this fight together. You don’t have a personal choice “right” to infect me. I don’t have a right to infect you.

Thankfully, there is nothing COVID can do to prevent us from enjoying the fruit of the vine and work of human hands. Wine can smooth out the evening even when you have cabin fever. Pairs well with food, too. Here are some wines to consider as you stay safe.

Tasting notes:

• Château Carbonneau Margot Sauvignon Blanc 2016: Easy drinker with superb tartness rather than tongue-cutting acidity. Vibrant. Comfortable, round mouthfeel amid tartness. $11-12 Link to my review

• Maddalena Chardonnay Monterey 2016: Made in rich, sensuous, hedonistic style of Cali chard with butter and oak and luxuriant mouthfeel. $14-18 Link to my review

• Toad Hollow Vineyards Merlot Sonoma County 2016: Pure merlot play with easy going plushness, softness you want from 100% merlot. $16-17 Link to my review

• Left Coast White Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2018: Delightful take on pinot noir. Tasty pinot flavors with the bright acidity and crisp brightness of a white wine. $20-25 Link to my review

• The Prisoner Wine Company Cuttings Cabernet Sauvignon 2016: Lush, fruit forward, full and lavish in the mouth. Quintessential big Cali cab. $42-55 Link to my review

• Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut Champagne NV: Purity of fruit, finesse, structure. Checks all the boxes for a world-class Champagne. $85-100 Link to my review

Last round: Wife: Would you like some wine with dinner? Husband: What are my choices? Wife: “Yes” or “No”