Wednesday, July 2, 2014

9 Festive Wines to Make Your July 4th Celebration Fine

This weekend in the U.S, we will celebrate Independence Day.  This holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 which declared our independence from Great Britain. It is a national holiday celebrated with fireworks, parades, cookouts, concerts and ceremonies across the nation.
In honor of this distinctly American holiday, I searched for a few wines to pour as you celebrate “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness …” along with those fireworks, and some red, white and blue thrown in there, too.

Ripe Life Wines is as close as we get to “Life.”  This is not a winery or vineyard but a private label founded by culinary school grad and New York City sommelier, Mary McAuley. Ripe Life started business last year and offers one wine: Clambake Chardonnay. Tailgate Red is expected to be released in the autumn of 2015.

Liberty Creek Vineyards based in Modesto, California plays off the July 4th motif with about a dozen offerings. Their web page features the liberty bell and phrases from the Declaration of Independence. Wine offerings include Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Pink Moscato and White Zin, along with a few Tetra Pak offerings.

Liberty School offers several wines. Started in 1990, Hope Family Wines produces reliable vinos under the Liberty School banner including Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cuvee and Chardonnay. The winery is located in Paso Robles, California.

Liberty Vineyards and Winery is a family-owned winery located in western New York state in the heart of Lake Erie's wine country.  Almost two-dozen wines make up their portfolio including an appropriately named Reds, Whites and Blues, which is a sweet blend of red, white and blue grape varieties. This wine won a gold at the 2014 Florida State Fair International Wine Competition, two Chairman’s Awards from the Riverside International Wine Competition, and a "Highly Recommended, Best Buy" from Beverage Testing Institute. (Shame they didn't have a better photo ...)

Pursuit of Happiness
Pursuit of Happiness is a dessert wine crafted from Norton grapes and blackberries. Produced by Wide River Winery of Clinton, Iowa, this wine won a gold medal at the 2012 Mid American Wine Competition.

And we also associate fireworks, firecrackers and lots of big booms with the Fourth, so here’s a few more wines to consider.

All That Bang
Fireworks Red Merlot should get your weekend off with a sparkle. Crafted by Adirondack Winery in Lake George, New York, this wine garnered silver from Florida State Fair International Wine Competition in 2011 and a bronze in the 2009 World Value Wine Challenge.

There is a Firecracker Wine out there but again this is not crafted by a winery or vineyard. Instead the parent company is listed as Intercontinental Packaging. The Firecracker Wine website offers only two wines: a Firecracker Red Blend and a Firecracker Fusion White. According to the webpage, the wines are “crafted with innovative techniques” to “create intensely flavored wines that will make your mouth say ‘WOW!’” 

No boom but there is a Boom Boom wine available, thanks to Charles Smith Crafted from Syrah grapes grown in the Columbia Valley of Washington State, this wine is called “The Bomb” by the winemaker, and was crafted to be consumed immediately. (Take that as you please ...)

Oh Say Can You See
Tassel Ridge Winery in Leighton, Iowa produces two festive wines for the Fourth. Star Spangled White is a sweet wine made from Edelweiss grapes grown in their Iowa vineyard. Red, White & Blue is a sweet red crafted from Concord grapes.

Apparently no one thought that “independence” was a good name for a winery, vineyard, or wine. As close as we get is the Texas Independence Wine Trail, which boasts 8 wineries on it. Definitely an independent way to spend your day.

When All Else Fails
If there’s no time to find a festively named wine for your holiday gathering, you can always fall back on the standard: White wine with lunch; red wine with dinner and a nice Blueberry dessert wine for the fireworks! Just pour a glass and join in the celebration!

Happy Independence Day, America!
~ Joy