Summer is now going into its second month with Fourth of July soon upon us. Some of you are getting your BBQ grills ready for either hamburgers, hot dogs, steak or chicken kabobs or anything else you can put on to watch the fireworks. Now the question remains. What wines are appropriate and practical for a bar-b-que during this festive summer occasion? Having the right wine to go with a barbecue meal will make all the difference when it comes to taste, as in one of the five senses. It’s most fitting a California wine grace the tables for the 4th of July since it is an American holiday. What better way then to serve a Zinfadel wine from California? This is the perfect summer and BBQ wine, bar none. It goes well with any barbecued meat, poultry and fish.
A Zinfandel wine is a variety of red grapes that produces a full-bodied red wine. Originally the grape came from the “heel of Italy” where it was then brought to the U.S. in the mid 1800’s to California vineyards. Oddly enough the Zinfandel wine does not bode well with other wine enthusiasts, because of its high alcohol level, which is at 15%. It tends to make someone who drinks this particular wine a bit more tipsy than usual. Therefore it is wise to please drink responsibly during the 4th of July festivities. Hopefully a majority of you will be at home cooking and celebrating. At any rate, here are a total of six of the best wines to drink on the 4th. These recommended wines are based on their prices, look, smell and taste. Four of them are Zinfandels, one is a French rose for those not interested in Zinfandels, perhaps due to the high alcohol content and the last one is a sweet wine that’s been used for this very occasion two-hundred and thirty-four years ago.
1.) Sobon Estate 2007 Amador County Zinfandel Hillside – $11: Thankfully this Zinfandel’s alcohol content is lower than most others at only 14.4%, which I have tasted and can vouch for. It did not leave me feeling sleepy after a glass. This family owned winery, Sobon Estate, have been producing wines since 1977. They are located at the Sierra foothills of Amador County, which is near Sacramento. Their grapes are grown organically. This Zin is a dazzling berry mix within its aromas. The taste seems to suggest blackberry, raspberry and red cherry, in addition to some leather, cocoa and mineral notes that will linger on.
2.) Rancho Zabaco Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2004 – $13.99: They highly recommend this Zinfandel to be serve alongside your burgers, sausages and ribs for your Fourth of July meal. It comes from California’s Sonoma Dry Creek Valley that is known the world over for producing some of the best Zinfandels. One such winery is Rancho Zabaco in Healdsburg, California. This particular rich red wine vintage features faint plum and jammy flavors along with mix of peppery scents. It is a versatile Zin that can be paired with a variety of foods.
3.) Amador Foothill 2007 Clockspring Vineyard Shenandoah Valley Zinfandel – $14.99: Here is another Zinfandel coming from the famed Amador County. This winery is the Amador Foothill in the Sierra Foothills region. If you’re not having a barbecue on the 4th of July and just want pizza this Zinfandel goes perfectly with pizza. Some have called it the ultimate pizza wine. The Shenandoah Valley Zinfandel is known for being a juicy, delicious and really tasty zinfandel that goes great with any pairing of food. It features bright cherry and spicy fruits with low tannins.
4.) 2006 Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma County – $15.85: Once again another great recommendation for a Zinfandel that is great for a Fourth of July picnic and BBQ’s. This one is more readily available and affordable. It goes superbly with any food and will not be overpowering. Even though it is easy to drink it is certainly not considered just a “simple” wine. It features enormous red berry flavors mixed in with some black pepper notes that comes to you from the Seghesio Winery in Sonoma County. .
5.) 2007 Château de Ségriès, Tavel Rosé – $19.99: Now we’ll switch gears to other alternative wines besides Zinfandels for the 4th of July. If you are having a picnic instead of a barbecue this French rose will be ideal as it goes well with various salads like potato or coleslaw. It even goes superbly with grilled corn on the cob. This well-balanced rose is filled with fruity richness that is compatible with sweeter dishes as well as the heartier meals, like anything you’d get off the grill. It is also the perfect way to cool off on a nice warm day or when it’s really hot.
6.) Broadbent 5 Year Old Reserve (Sweet) Madeira – $23.95: Did you know this sweet dessert wine that’s been aged in oak was used by the Founding Fathers to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? George Washington had Madeira after his dinner on a daily basis. This certainly should be our national drink for the 4th of July. After everyone’s had a great BBQ meal and seeing the fireworks it’s also a great way to cap off the evening festivities. Broadbent’s rich, full-bodied Madeira goes well with any food, even pickles, because of its exceptional balance between sweetness and acidity. Madeira has a lot of significant history behind it. Why it is the perfect drink on the 4th of July.
These particular brand names of zinfandels, French rose and Madeira are merely suggestions. Of course any other brands can be found at your local grocery or wine store. However, it’s these types of red wines that are most compatible regarding meals associated on the Fourth of July. The best thing about them is they’re all affordable.
Wine Review: Zynthesis Zinfandel 2007 – $16.04 for 2! Wine Welfare
Q&A: Does Zinfandel Make You More Drunk? DrinkHacker
Edward Deitch, “Try a classic American red wine for July Fourth”, MSNBC
Sonoma Heritage Vines Zinfandel, Rancho Zabaco
Rancho Zabaco Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2004, snooth
Sandy Mitchell, “Wine for the Fourth of July”, Celebrate Wine
Amador Foothill 2007 Clockspring Vineyard Shenandoah Valley Zinfandel, The Wine Country
2006 Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma County, Wine Zap
4th of July Wine – What’s the Ideal Wine to Celebrate Independence Day?, IntoWine
Broadbent 5 Year Old Reserve (Sweet), Broadbent Selections