Labor Day means two things: The Wine Curmudgeon ?s annual appearance at the Kerrville wine and music festival and a reason to write about rose.
On Saturday, the Kerrville panel will do Texas wine and cheese, and we ?ll have an opportunity to see ? once again ? the tremendous strides the Texas wine industry has made over the past decade. Sometimes, it even surprises me. Say hello if you ?re there; there ?s a slight chance the ebook version of The Cheap Wine Book will be ready, so I ?ll probably natter on about that as well.
So what about wine for Labor Day? These suggestions are a good place to start. The goal is wine that is food friendly and doesn ?t get in the way of the holiday:
? Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($10, purchased, 13.9%): California-style sauvignon blanc doesn’t get much better than this, and it’s even more stunning at this price. The wine is varietally correct (grassy-ness and citrus), has flavors in the front, middle, and back, and is crisp and refreshing to boot. Highly recommended and a candidate for the 2014 $10 Hall of Fame.
? Bodegas Castano Monastrell Yecla ($10, purchased, 13.5%): Nicely done red made with monastrell combines New World-style red fruit with Spanish terroir — acid and tannins to balance the fruit. Tremendous value, and a great barbecue wine.
? Cortijo III Rose 2012 ($10, purchased, 13.5%): One of the most interesting and sophisticated roses I’ve tasted in years, which is saying something given my enthusiasm for rose. More fruit (cranberry and watermelon playing off each other) than a traditional Spanish rose, but still not New World-ish and as dusty dry as it should be. An amazing wine that will almost certainly be in the 2014 Hall of Fame.
Finally, don ?t overlook regional wine for Labor Day weekend. It ?s as good a time as any to try it if you haven ?t. If you have, then enjoy one of your favorites, like I will in Kerrville.