Buy U.S.-made wines to celebrate July Fourth
Independence Day is upon us, so let’s look for some appropriate bang-up choices to purchase made in the good ol’ USA. There are three Delaware wineries that make lovely peach wine: Nassau Valley Vineyards, Lewes; Salted Vines, Frankford; and Harvest Ridge, Marydel. Those who enjoy peach cobbler, or a cold peach or strawberry Bellini, can visit any of these and enjoy a varied wine tasting for a modest price. It’s an enjoyable way to spend a few hours in lovely settings on a warm summer day. NVV has the added benefit of a farmers market, a tour and live music on Sundays, and it’s only a short drive from Lewes and Rehoboth just off Route 1 or Route 9 on Winery Way. If you visit, in addition to a wide selection of modestly priced wines including Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot and several blends, their True Blue and Reserve blueberry wines are worth the candle. Pizzadili Winery near Felton is another good choice to visit. It has a lovely tasting room and a wide selection of fruit wines in addition to Cabernet, Merlot, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling. In the fall, it offers pumpkin wine. Don’t knock it, try it! Be sure to call for hours of operation.
If burgers, meat and veggies on the wood-smoky grill are more your thing, I think wines with strong fruit aromas and flavors are best. Unlike many, I recommend several of Oregon’s Pinot Noirs. Two examples are Erath Resplendent Pinot Noir 2019, 89 McD at $20, and King Estate Inscription Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 91 McD at $20. Dark ruby, the King Estate opens to a complex bouquet of raspberry, black plum and currant, with hints of violet, orange peel, cedar and forest floor. On an equally complex palate, look for cherry, plum and currant with cedar, tobacco and leather back notes. The fruit, acidity and tannic balance supports through a long, clean finish. Zinfandel may be your go-to, and that’s fine, but I don’t need so much tannin with melt-in-your-mouth, smoky BBQ items. If you enjoy Zin, you cannot go wrong with Seghesio. Their generic 2019, 91 McD around $22, is lovely, and for the adventuresome, their 2018 Barbera Alexander Valley is excellent. Cherry with vanilla, damp earth and smoky accents, it is viscous, and the fruit sweetness is supported in this dry wine with a balanced tannin, oak and acidity frame.
Those who enjoy rubs and sauces with their caveman grilling should visit this site, where excellent ideas can be found: wespeakwine.com/blog/Beefy-Red-Wines-for-Grilled-Steak.
I enjoy a big Cabernet Sauvignon for steaks and lamb because I prefer them no more than medium rare and no rubs, just a little S&P. Tannin and new barrel flavors are your friends here. Look for something in your price range from Walla Walla or Paso Robles. Daou Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles 2021 shows anise, cassis, pencil shavings and damp earth aromas, with ripe dark fruit and roast nut flavors. Mild tannins say it’s OK to go. A little aeration will enhance your enjoyment. The 2019 and ‘20 both rate 90 McD. If you see any Treana Cab from San Luis Obispo Paso Robles 2019, ‘20 or ‘21 under $25, try it. The 2019 is midnight purple, loaded with ripe fruit, full-bodied, with black currant, dark chocolate and caramel aromas that evolve to a round, balanced palate of cherry pie flavors. Don’t turn up your nose at $10 Columbia Crest Cab; Michael Alberty/WE wrote (edited by me), “cherry, dark-chocolate and orange aromas with leather and roasted red bell pepper hints. Grippy tannins and soft acidity to match up with gobs of blackcap-raspberry and blueberry flavors. Little touches of cedar and mocha powder.” I like “gobs” in my wine. I also agree with his 89-point rating and add two price points. Thank you, Michael.
Best to all for a glorious Fourth of July!