Some suggestions and a few thoughts about wine with your July 4 celebration next week, whether backyard barbeque or fireworks watching party (the latter with bubbly, of course):
• We’re in porch wine territory this time of year: lighter wines with lower alcohol, and that includes reds. Drinking a tannic, high alcohol wine when it’s pushing 100 isn’t pleasurable (unless you’re a wine masochist).
• Did someone say bubbly? We’re celebrating a birthday, aren’t we? Miquel Pons Cava Brut Nature NV ($15, purchased) is a Spanish sparkler that’s soft and generous, with sweet lemon fruit and bubbles that won't quit.
• Fontana Candida Frascati Superiore ($10, sample) is an Italian white that was a big deal a decade or more ago, and then fell on hard times. This vintage is much better made than it was then, with a fresher, more clean approach, very crisp lemon, and an almost orange tea aroma. Just 12 1/2 percent alcohol.
• When in doubt, go Falesco – the Assisi Rosso 2009 ($16, purchased), in this case. This Italian red blend is a step up from the producer’s wonderful $10 Vitiano line, with an herbal aroma and soft red fruit. But it’s sturdy enough for red wine occasions, including Fourth of July burgers, steak and brisket.
• Regional wine is always a July 4 staple, and Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling 2010 ($15, purchased) is a regional wine with decent national distribution. Look for candied lemon and the fresh, crisp acidity that New York state rieslings are famous for. And, as nice as this wine is, it's not nearly the best New York riesling available.
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