A few thoughts about wine and the Fourth of July, which too often isn't seen as much of a wine holiday. But, as the Wine Curmudgeon always points out, every holiday is an occasion for wine. One just needs to find the right label. Look for wines that pair with barbecue and picnic foods like roses, and especially traditional-style zinfandels like the Grgich:
• La Vieille Ferme Rouge 2009 ($8, purchased): This red blend from France has solid, Old World structure, some spice and pepper, tannins and not much fruit. It's still a little rough, but that's not a bad thing.
• Villa San-Juliette Sauvignon Blanc ($15, sample): More California in style than other sauvignon blancs, with grassy aromas and more lemon than grapefruit. Nicely done, especially since it's from Paso Robles, which is hardly thought of as a sauvignon blanc region.
• Grgich Hills Zinfandel 2007 ($35, sample): So beautifully made and complex that it almost doesn't taste like zinfandel. But there's zinfandel's trademark pepper and red fruit (though not quite as brambly as I like). This wine is ready now, but can sit for another year or so, which will help integrate the oak.
For more on Fourth of July wine:
• Fourth of July wine 2010
• Wine of the week: Fattoria dei Barbi Brusco 2008
• Four French wines you can afford
• Wine of the week: Heyman & Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
• Wine of the week: Marietta Old Vine Red Lot Number 53