We’re Toasting: 4th of July

Chenin Blanc in Vouvray, France

Story originally published in “West Hawaii Today” July 3, 2018

Happy 4th of July, a time to join family and friends together for a beachside celebration with kalua pork, barbecued ribs, and huli-huli chicken. But what to pair with these favorites? Here are a few red, white and bubbly selections to toast your4th.

Vineyards of Segura Viudas

Anything you would drink a beer with, you can sip a sparkling wine, like smoked pork or beef ribs slathered with sticky, sweet Hawaiian barbecued sauce. For your holiday gathering pick up a few bottles of Cava or Prosecco, like lemony, green apple and brioche filled Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava ($13) from Spain, or juicy white peach and golden apple filled La Marca Prosecco ($15) from Italy. With these bubbles, festive fireworks won’t be your only 4th of July sparklers.

For white wine lovers, try something that may be slightly off your radar, like an Italian Vermentino or Garganega, Vouvray from Loire Valley, France or Godello from Spain. White peach, apricot and white flower-filled Chenin Blanc shines in Champlou Vouvray ($25) creating a fruity wine that is nicely balanced thanks to a high level of natural acidity in the wine, keeping it vibrant and fresh. From Italy, Tenuta Sant’Antonio Scaia ($16) blends Chardonnay with Garganega for a wine filled with jasmine, tangerine and fresh lemon-lime. Layers of soft herbs and crushed stone mingle with stone fruit and a hint of salty brininess in Bodegas Avancia Cuvée de O Godello ($20) from Galicia, Spain, accentuating the influence of the Atlantic Ocean on slate stone filled vineyards.

Even though hearty barbecue beef and pork dishes will certainly be served this holiday, consider lightening up your red wine selections with fresh, vibrant reds with acidity to cut through the richness of the dishes, like an Italian Barbera or Dolcetto, a classic Rhone blend or Beaujolais from France, or earthy Pinot Noir from Oregon or Germany. Deeply colored, yet very bright and fresh on the palate, Vietti Barbera d’Alba Tre Vigne ($32) from Piedmont, Italy, layers tart cherry and strawberry for a food friendly, low tannin wine. Easy and approachable, E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge ($20) blends Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre for a spicy, fruit-forward palate with a mineralic earthiness from the granite, limestone and clay-filled soils of the Rhone.

Pinot Noir is the wine I could drink every day, with the selections from Willamette Valley, OR being some of the best. From fresh strawberry and purple flower filled Argyle Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($25), to Adelsheim Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($30) with brambly berry, cherry, and spice, to Siduri Chehalem Mountain Pinot Noir ($45) with a slightly richer, earthy forest-floor and spice undertone, Pinot Noir wines from Oregon deliver purity of fruit, a sense of place and lovely elegance.