Yes, one can drink wine on the Fourth of July. It's a picnic holiday, after all, and there are plenty of picnic wines. It's a barbecue holiday, and there are certainly barbecue wines. It's a party holiday, and there is an entire category of party wines -- Champagne and sparkling wine.
Here are a few thoughts about what to buy and how to approach the holiday:
• Rose, rose and some more rose. This solves the sweet wine problem for people who don't like to buy sweet wine. Most roses, even though they aren't sweet, are fruity enough to do the trick. It also answers the question about what kind of white wine to serve with beef -- pink.
• Sparkling wine: Toast the U.S.' birthday with New Mexico's Gruet, which recently received the stamp of approval from the New York Times. Or check out the Wine Curmudgeon's value-oriented suggestions (or cheap, as we like to say).
• Lighter red wines: I did a Facebook chat for Dallas' Advocate Magazines the other day, and this is one of the subjects that came up. This is a good time to mention Ridge's Three Valleys, a zinfandel blend for about $20, that has long been one of my favorites. Look for red blends, wines made with grapes like grenache, and pretty much anything that isn't the standard cabernet sauvignon or merlot.
For more on Fourth of July wine:
• Fourth of July wine 2009
• Wine of the week: Rene Barbier Mediterranean White NV
• Wine of the week: La Mano Mencia Roble 2007