Just like a birthday that occurs during the weekday, festivities always begin on the weekend. Since our great country’s birthday occurs on Tuesday, I’m guessing that you’ll be engaging in various pre-July 4 endeavors. Don’t forget the wine as you’re packing a picnic basket, lighting up the grill, and spending time with family and friends. This weekend, honor America and pop the cork on a few true American favorites!

Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut (sample) ($20) – This glorious bubbly, produced from hand harvested Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, is from one of the great classic wineries, Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards, in Sonoma County, California. I relished the complex aromas of stone fruit, fresh flowers, and almonds. The first mesmerizing sip presented notes of freshly baked brioche and golden apple paired with lively effervescence and a lasting finish. Thanks to its ability to pair with a variety of foods, the Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut will be a delicious start to a picnic, a lovely pairing with a cheese course, and the perfect complement to chicken salad sandwiches, shellfish, or sushi. Heck, have plenty of bottles on hand so that you can enjoy it throughout the day!

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Beringer Luminus Chardonnay 2015 (sample) ($39) – Luminous means “light” in Latin and this wine is aptly named. Radiant and pure, aromas of soft butter and oak, white flowers, ripe lemon and golden apple, vanilla and granite were an enticing introduction to this memorable Chardonnay from Napa Valley’s Oak Knoll district. On the palate, I discovered a round, velvet-like mouthfeel with lovely acidity and notes of vanilla, juicy lemon citrus, touches of pineapple and melon, sweet almonds, and minerality. All led to a long, supple finish. You’ll crave each sip of this luscious Chardonnay especially when paired with your favorite homemade picnic sandwich, grilled chicken and vegetable skewer, or a cool pasta salad.

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Stoller Family Estate Dundee Hills Pinot Noir Rosé 2016 (sample) ($25) – As a dedicated Oregon Pinot Noir lover, it was natural that I’d include this brilliant Rosé from Stoller Family Estate. What’s not to love about snappy aromas of strawberries, raspberries, spice, and my beloved minerality? After pouring and cherishing each whiff, I was more than ready for the first sip. Lively flavors of bright red grapefruit, tropical fruit, gentle tannins, zesty acidity, and a lengthy acid-driven finish contributed to the “ahhhhhh” factor! Fermented in stainless steel, you’ll enjoy this American wine on every level!

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Austerity Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (sample) ($20) – Expressing the American spirit, Austerity Wines partnered with FeedFeed, a crowd sourced digital cooking publication, to host “Simply Elevated”, a series of Chef and Winemaker dinners in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. I attended the Chicago dinner at Ada Street Restaurant where a beautiful dinner, highlighting fresh, farm to table ingredients, was paired with Austerity’s Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. All of the wines from Austerity are made from fruit from California’s Central Coast.

In this wine, Cabernet grapes, exuding plenty of depth and concentration, are from Paso Robles, one of my favorite wine regions. On the nose, I appreciated intense aromas of rich red fruits, tingly spice, sweet tobacco, and red flowers. The palate, boasting bright acidity and lush tannins, revealed notes of black cherries, chocolate, anise, and oak. You may want to pair the Austerity Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, fermented in stainless steel and aged for 6 months in American oak (of course!), with anything still sizzling from the grill.

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Cheers to flag-waving American wines! ~ Cindy

 

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