If you live on the East Coast, particularly in the mid-Atlantic, you’re probably still recovering from the record-breaking temperatures and the crazy storms. We were fortunate enough to not lose our electicity because our condo building has a generator, but everything around us was without power. That, combined with street lights that were out, trees down in the middle of the road, and the general sense that people were unprepared, definitely made for a chaotic weekend.
The plus side to all of it, though, is that there are “two Fridays” during this four-day workweek, not to mention a fun federal holiday in-between. I’ve heard some coworkers gripe about the Fourth of July being on a Wednesday, but really, I think there’s nothing like breaking up the week with a good party. With that in mind, here are 5 American red wines that would be perfect for a July 4th BBQ or cookout.
The Williamsburg Winery Birdies for the Brave Merlot was full of strawberries and pomegranates, along with a hint of a smoky, woodiness. It was a medium-bodied wine with light tannins, so it would be light red wine option on a hot summer day. Additionally, the PGA Tour and players have joined with various corporate sponsors, including Williamsburg Winery, to raise money through Birdies for the Brave. They donate money to groups that provide critical programs and services to meet the specialized needs of wounded warriors and military families, and the proceeds of this wine helps support those efforts. I gave this wine 4 corks and purchased it for $18.
The cc: Cabernet Sauvignon (winery) had dark fruits mixed with smoke and black better that gave the wine a nice complexity. It had big tannins and a medium-to-full body, so it had nice heft without being too heavy for enjoying outside. I gave the wine 4.5 corks and purchased it for $24.
The Michel-Schlumberger Maison Rouge (winery) is a medium-bodied wine full of red fruit characteristics with a touch of earthiness and thyme mixed in to give it an interesting, slightly different taste. It’s a wine that should probably breathe a little bit, or at least go through an aerator, but once it opens up, it will be a nice red to enjoy in the hot July 4th weather while watching fireworks with friends. I gave this wine 4 corks and purchased it for $25.
The 2008 Ottimino Rancho Bello Vineyard Zinfandel (winery) is a wine full blueberries, black cherries, pomegranates, and raspberries that are mixed with cooking spices like cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and white pepper. It’s a bigger wine that will really come to life when paired with a traditional BBQ sandwich, ribs, or even a hot dog on a bun. I gave this wine 4.5 corks, and while I received it as a sample, the suggested retail price is $30.
The Treana (winery) is full of blackberries, plums, and pine needles, with some smoked beefiness and cedar. It’s a perfect wine to pair with BBQ and cookout meats, as its full body and medium-to-high tannins can stand up to their powerful flavors. Admittedly, it’s probably a little on the high end for a cookout wine, but it’s a wonderful sipping wine with a lingering finish that makes it a great choice if you’re only going to enjoy a glass or two. I gave this wine 4.5 corks and purchased it for $35.
Tomorrow I will post a list of Top 5 American Whites and Sparkling wines. In the meantime, though, if these wines aren’t what you’re looking for, check out my 2011 list of Top American Wines Under $20 for July 4th.