So why a Labor Day wine post? Because wine is suitable for every day of the year; haven’t you been paying attention? Needless to say, the Wine Curmudgeon will spend this weekend doing wine things, including my annual visit to the Kerrvile Wine & Music Festival. I'll participate in a panel discussion on Saturday about the state of Texas wine – which is quite good, by the way, despite the attempts made by the legislature to reduce it to no state at all.
Holiday picnics and back porch barbecues usually mean lighter wines, and I've offered several suggestions below. But, assuming this summer's heat wave is finally ending, Labor Day also marks the return of bigger red wines, which will pair with ribs or burgers.
These suggestions should get you started:• Ferret Côtes de Gascogne 2011 ($10, sample): This white blend from southwestern France is a solid effort, if not quite up to the standards of the Gascon wines in the $10 Hall of Fame. It has more sauvignon blanc character and less of the Gascon grapiness that I like.
• Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut NV ($15, purchased): You can find this California sparkling wine for as little as $12, which makes it one of the great values of the year (or any other). Look for green apples, some minerality, and even a little yeastiness.
• Bodegas Cepa 21 2007 ($23, sample): A surprisingly nuanced red wine from Spain’s Ribero del Duero, without a lot of the shouting that so many of these wines do. It does need food, and a Labor Day steak would be perfect.