5 Iconic Wines to Celebrate the 4th of July

Change things up this holiday with some of America's future stars!


With the celebration of our Independence right around the corner, we are all set to celebrate. This is after all one of the great parties of the year for of us. Historically it was fun and easy to recommend "America's Indigenous Grape" aka Zinfandel as the go to wine for Fourth of July celebrations, but that ultimately meant recommending a wine from California that went well with burgers and ribs. Today's Fourth of July celebrations tend to include a more varied menu these days and recommending wines only from California harkens back to a time when that's pretty much all we had.

Today wine is produced in every state, and while we all don't have access to each and every wine there is enough variety out there to allow for some wider ranging selections. It wasn't that long ago that American wine meant wine from California's north coast, and while that region will remain symbolically important, we are fast approaching a time when it might not be the first region to spring to mind when one asks about American wine. With this in mind, and just in time for a most symbolic celebration, let's take a look at the wines that might spring to mind, the wines destined to become America's iconic wines.

Oregon Pinot Noir

It's easy to begin with Oregon, for a couple of reasons. No other state in the union has seen the proliferation of successful labels accompanied by the global acclaim that Oregon has achieved. This is of course Pinot Noir country, and Pinot Noir that is produced in a more old world style than most anywhere else in the USA. That is due primarily to the weather, which can be cool and damp. The results though tend to be bright and juicy, something that seems to be just a bit counterintuitive.

As for the appropriate wine? How about one which celebrates both the brilliance of Oregon Pinot Noir, and revolution, albeit not ours. Isabelle Dutarte is making wine under both the De Ponte and her own 1789 labels, the latter named for the date of the French Revolution. Classically Oregon yet with a light touch, it's a fabulous Pinot and one sure to be a crowd pleaser.  Try it with lighter grilled meats and of course salmon from the grill.

1789 Pinot Noir

Washington Syrah

While it labors in the shadows. Washington's Syrah is slowly shaping up to be a best-in-show. In fact many people already recognize the brilliance of these wines, though they tend, as a group, to be less approachable, and popular than many other wines. While some still considere Syrah something of a niche player it has become more popular over the last fivev years for certain.

Take for example Hedges Descendants Syrah, which coincidentally celebrates the French heritage of the Hedges family. Earthy, complex and deeply flavored it's a great wines for grilled game or beef this independence day.

Hedges Decsendants Syrah

New York Sauvignon Blanc

Now this may be something of a departure, recommending a New York white that is not Riesling, but I do believe that Long Island has great potential with Sauvignon Blanc. Long Island has struggled with an identity since its birth as a wine region, with a climate that resembles that of Bordeaux, and soils composed of glacial moraine that might be compared to the gravels of Bordeaux, it was thought that this would prove to be a great spot for the grapes of Bordeaux, with a distinct focus on the reds.

Long Island Sauvignon Blanc, with old world character and a just a hint of new world fruit, is poised to make a big splash and Macari is leading the way. This is just a lovely wine, as good as just about anybody's Sauvy, but I do know it is not that easy to find, so make an effort. It's great with fish, pasta salads, and of fresh goat cheeses.

Macari Sauvignon Blanc

Virginia Viognier

Like Long Island Sauvignon Blanc, Virginia's Viogniers can be tough to find, but they are also fabulous wines that will help expand our definition of what a domestic fine region is, and when choosing a wine for the Fourth, selecting one from a state as important as Virginia, site of America's first colony,  has a certain symbolic appeal. Unfortunately this recommendation might prove to be just that, symbolic, since these wines are currently very narrowly distributed.

If you can find one Virginia Viognier it will probably be from Horton or Blenheim. It makes for a great pairing with spicy Asian or latin American influenced dishes

Blenheim Viognier

New Mexico Sparkling Wine

In light of the celebration of our independence I thought it would be nice to be as inclusive as possible, and celebrating with a sparkling wine just seems to be a natural here.

Gruet makes what has to be one of the best, and certainly the best value sparkling wines in the country. They are produced at altitude in New Mexico and have a character that is closer to famous French sparkling wines than to their American brethren. This are pure joy in a bottle, and the rose seems particularly appropriate for sipping while watching a glorious light show.

Gruet Brut Rose

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