Happy National Wine Day! What a perfect reason to celebrate! This morning I did just that with the team at KXAS-TV/NBC DFW getting them ready for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. If you need a few suggestions, please read on below. And, see the segment by clicking here.
We still have about 4 tickets left for our anniversary dinner at Suze next week with Julien Fayard, tickets available here. We would love to have you join us! Cheers!
In addition to it being National Wine Day, it is also National Chardonnay Day. The white variety continues to be the most popular white wine in America. A few go to favorites, year in year out, include Cakebread, Duckhorn, Jordan, Rams Gate, Starmont, and the wines of Flora Springs.
And, one of my featured wines today is always a special treat, Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay
from their vineyard in Carneros delivering concentrated, elegant and fresh with great acidity. Sustainably made, using native fermentation in both oak and stainless steel, the wine is filled with tropical fruit and melon, with a touch of toasted cream.
I also love classic Chablis
, as the region celebrates the variety’s impeccable qualities without hiding behind oak. Look for Grand Cru, if you can afford it, it will be the best. Petit Chablis won’t be as expressive, but will still have the classic qualities at a slightly lower price. Pogo’s and Sigel’s have lovely selections locally.
Featured Groth Sauvignon Blanc
, from fruit grown throughout Napa balances freshness with ripeness, melding citrus notes of gooseberry and lemon-lime, with earthy grassy, crushed stone for a very thirst-quenching wine. And, Gamble Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc
from Oakville, prime Cabernet country. Though most vintners might remove the variety for the region to grow the more expensive Cab grapes, Tom Gamble’s affinity for the Sauvignon Blanc variety, specifically from this area, keeps these previous vines in place producing delicious wines year after year.
For red wine fans, a few options ideal to pair with your holiday barbecue. If you are preparing a low and slow brisket or pork shoulder, Zinfandel and/or Syrah would be delicious. For brisket, I like a well made Zinfandel. Look for Old Vine, as they will be concentrated, and the wines from Dry Creek, in particular, are outstanding. Peppery, spicy and juicy, favorites include Cline
, Black Sears,
and the single vineyard Zinfandel wines from Ravenswood.
Featured sustainably farmed Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel
is big and juicy, with lots of pepper, jammy raspberry, and dark chocolate. Rich and ripe, helping cut through the fattiness of the brisket. And a great price, right around $20.
Syrah vines in Walla Walla
For those smoking a pork shoulder all day, look for a Rhone red, like a GSM blend from McPherson
in Texas, Syrah from Walla Walla, like from Cayuse
have been long time favorites, or classic Rhone Valley Wine
. I love the Vacqueyras wines in Southern Rhone, and those from Gigondas.
Our featured wine, Parabellum,
is a new addition from Washington State from Winemaker Todd Alexander and celebrated consulting winemaker Helen Keplinger (Grace Family Vineyards, Bryant Family Vineyard). The second label of Force Majeure Wines, from 100% Red Mountain Estate fruit, the wine celebrates the smoky, meaty, juicy characteristics of Syrah, blended with Grenache and Mourvedre for a complex, concentrated food wine.
Merlot vines in Pomerol, Bordeaux
If you are grilling steaks, lamb, venison, the classic Bordeaux varieties are best, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. You can either stick to actual Bordeaux
wines, and I love the Right Bank fan, ie St. Emilion, Pomerol, Fronsac and St. George made from predominantly Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Or your favorite Napa options, like those from Duckhorn, Cakebread
or slightly more affordable Paso Robles, like Justin
and J Lohr
Our featured sustainably farmed Raymond Winery Cabernet Sauvignon
is celebrating its 40th anniversary of producing dusty, terroir driven wines from Rutherford. Black cherry, leather and tobacco notes shine in the wine, produced this year with a sexy red velvet label to mark the anniversary.
Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon
is complex, concentrated and simply delicious. From fruit grown throughout Napa Valley, the expressive wine showcases why Cabernet from Napa Valley is so delicious with layers of fruit, spice, and earthiness.
For your lamb and venison fans, try one of the other Bordeaux varieties, celebrated in Argentina, Malbec. Earthy, cherry and spice filled Malbec is also ideal for fire-grilled beef and game. Achaval Ferrer, Argento, Vina Cobos
all stand out in the crowd of great Malbecs from Argentina.
Featured Achaval Ferrer
is luscious and lively, with ripe red cherry, juicy blackberry, and warm spice. The tannins are ripe and round, and there is a lovely freshness to the wine, thanks to the cooling influence of the Andes Mountains, keeping acidity balanced throughout the wine.