Monday, July 4, 2011

Great Wines for July 4th!

A day on which we celebrate our Independence could only be better with the perfect glass of wine! The key to choosing the right VINO for your 4th of July bash is dependent on a few aspects the party. Is it a cookout or indoors? Are you having a few close friends, or will there be 20+ party goers? Is there a main "entree" (e.g., a pig roast!), or a smorgasbord of cookout fare? We hope to extinguish all your worries when picking up the "right" wine. Check out our Top 4th of July Picks below!

2007 Bonterra Vineyards Zinfandel
This is an organic wine from Mendocino County in California. Lovely nose--raspberries and strawberries with some nice meatiness and earth! Ripe black cherries, plums, dark chocolate along with a little toasted oak make for a wonderfully balanced wine. The mouthfeel is excellent, with subtle tannins, great structure, and lingering finish. It's great on its own, but would pair even better with BBQ or Steak! For $12, this wouldn't break the bank at your gathering!

Body: Medium to Full
Pairing: Barbecue anything, Hamburgers, Grilled Steak
Approximate Cost: $12-14

2010 Cupcake Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc
Holy grass! Something that's very common in New Zealand Sauvignon blancs, this white from Cupcake isn't shy about its herbaceous grass aromas! We found lots of pear and peaches on the nose, too. Very nice aromas all together! This sauv blanc reminds us of Summer! We tasted super juicy peaches, pears and granny-smith apples and that wonderful freshly cut grass. The mouthfeel is great: smooth, yet crisp with great acidity! This isn't a very complex wine, but could easily be a crowd pleaser. It's just simply delicious. Perfect party wine! For $8, any downfalls are easily outweighed by the tastiness! It's an exceptional value. The cool crispness of this Sauv Blanc is sure to please at any cookout!

Body: Light to Medium
Pairing: Lobster, Crab, Steamers, Grilled Vegetables, Grilled Chicken Breast
Approximate Cost: $8-10

2006 Cruz Andina Malbec
This Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina is super dark, almost like ink! We got aromas of dark ripe fruits and mocha. Pretty good nose! We tasted black currants, blackberries, chocolate--all wrapped in a nice level of oak and vanilla. It had a very good mouthfeel with tight firm tannins! This malbec is rounded and smooth. The finish is long, and paired very well with our big Texas BBQ dinner! It was a crowd favorite for sure! For $20 you're getting a decently complex rich wine with delicious flavors. We'd suggest you save this for a smaller gathering if that's what you're planning. Unless, of course, you can afford stocking up for a big party, go for it!

Body: Full
Pairing: Barbecue Spare Ribs, Grilled Steaks, Short Ribs
Approximate Cost: $19-20

2003 Chateau Tour de Guiet - Cotes de Bourg
Heavy flowers on the nose--take a huge whiff in the glass and it's like sticking your nose into a bouquet of flowers! We taste a lot of interesting flavors in this Bordeaux! Rose petals, permanent markers, plums, moss and driftwood dominate the flavor. Its medium body is soaked in fine tannins! This is a really great approachable QPR from Bordeaux, where you'll rarely get decent wines for $12. The crowd loved it, which makes it an even better value. This wine will pair well with most appetizers and entrees, and is inexpensive enough to stock up on!

Body: Medium
Pairing: Could be approached by anything!
Approximate Cost: $11-12

2009 Big House White
Box Wine? This isn't Franzia! Here we have a 3L box of 2009 Big House White, a blend of Malvasia, viognier, gruner veltliner, pinot gris, riesling, and gewurztraminer! What a mouthful... Of delicious flavors, that is! The wine is well rounded with just the right of acidity and length. I get a lot of peaches, pears, melon, a little honey, and a tiny bit of citrus. This is a very interesting wine, featuring layers and layers of flavors. VERY serviceable for about $17. Don't forget, this is for 3L. Chill this in the fridge and let 'er rip! Expecting a lot of people? Grab one (or two)!

Body: Medium
Pairing: Hot Dogs, Pig Roast
Approximate Cost: $16-19

2008 Doña Paula Estate Malbec
Black cherries and herbs dominate this wine, along with a hints of oak and delicate tannins. It's medium bodied with an unusually long finish. Good to PAIR WITH pork, grilled chicken, or a night in front of the TV--and for only $12 a bottle, you can afford to do just that! This is another wine that will fit with almost any party. It's inexpensive, pairs well with most, and tasty!

Body: Medium to Full
Pairing: Pig Roast, Grilled Chicken, Grilled Pork Chops
Approximate Cost: $12-14

2006 Cosentino 'The Zin'
Definite crowd pleaser! We've tried this wine on numerous occasions, and it has been a hit each time. Dark, full bodied, and delicious!! The Zin displays some really nice juicy (almost jammy) ripe blackberries, creamy smoothness, delicate tannins, and long finish. Layers of complexity keep you going back for more. Don't be alarmed by its alcohol content (15.1%) either, as its balance is unreal for such a high level! It's $20 per bottle, so it may work better for smaller gatherings.

Body: Full
Pairing: Barbecue anything, Grilled Steak
Approximate Cost: $20-22

2007 Alamos Torrontes
The increasingly popular Torrontes grape shines in this wine. Unbelievable color. It's crisp and refreshing, with a little apricot and citrus. It has a fantastically long finish, rounding out a very well balanced white. If you want a white to drink this summer, THIS is it! Don't drink many whites? Give this one a try; it'll be the TRUE test. Oh yeah... and it's only $10! A lot of people will ask first what Torrontes is, and they'll leave your party knowing it and loving it! Body: Light to Medium
Pairing: Seafood! Lobster, especially!
Approximate Cost: $10-11

2007 Spier Discover Steen
We're huge fans of this wine! At about $8, this Chenin Blanc offers medium body, citrus and grassy notes, nice crisp acidity, and decent finish. Please do yourself a favor and try this wine from Spier; it's a hit! If you're having seafood at your party, this would be your wine.

Body: Light to Medium
Pairing: Seafood! Lobster, especially!
Approximate Cost: $8-10

We hope you enjoy these wines! If you have any questions about a wine you're thinking of getting, drop us a line! Cheers and Happy 4th!


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