This Fourth of July, show your independence by breaking the rules with fun Bordeaux wine pairings
For most Americans, the Fourth of July immediately calls to mind long afternoon barbecues, the scent of grilled meats and fireworks commingling in the hot summer air, and a cold, refreshing beverage not too far away. This year, we encourage you to embrace the spirit of independence and try something new on the Fourth of July. Break away from that go-to beer and discover how some of the lesser-known – but delicious and inexpensive – Bordeaux wines can be the perfect drink for your Independence Day celebration!
We’ve provided three suggestions below – a dry white, a rosé and a red – but you really can’t go wrong with any of these. You’re likely to be outdoors at an informal gathering on the Fourth of July, so your wines need to be informal too and, above all, easy to work with. That’s why all the wines we’ve suggested below will pair with almost anything (seriously) that you’re likely to cook up on Independence Day.
Our first suggestion is a fresh, crisp, unoaked Bordeaux Blanc. Bordeaux Blancs pair particularly well with flavors of basil, lime, and garlic, so they’re perfect for summer. Drink these wines cold with grilled shrimp skewers slathered with basil pesto, or toss some chicken in a Yucatan-style garlic-chili-lime marinade before grilling it until lightly blackened. When it comes to Bordeaux Blancs, we’re particularly fond of Château du Plantier Blanc 2014, but if you can’t find that exact vintage, don’t worry! Look for any AOC Bordeaux Blanc or Entre-Deux-Mers instead.
If you’re looking for a red wine, however, try an AOC Bordeaux – Cru Monplaisir Rouge, 2012, for example – or simply ask your local wine store for wines labeled Bordeaux Rouge or Bordeaux Supérieur. These medium bodied wines are elegant and supple, with just a touch of oak for added complexity, and go with almost anything. We like to drink them with burgers, steaks, or grilled sausages, but try them alongside whatever you’re cooking for the holiday and discover their flexibility firsthand!
Finally, no summer wine pairing list would be complete with a suggestion for rosé! Bordeaux Rosés are pale, lively, refreshing, and packed with the delicate flavors of a summer red fruit cocktail. We like Les Hauts de Lagarde Rosé, 2016, but – happily – an increasing number of Bordeaux Rosé wines are becoming available in the US, so ask your local wine store for suggestions. These delicious Bordeaux Rosés are a great companion for almost any summer dish, but we find they’re perfect with burgers, grilled lamb or merguez sausages, or a firm fish such as salmon or halibut that can hold up to a grill without falling apart.
You should really feel free to experiment with these Independence Day food-wine pairings yourself and, if you find one you really love, let us know on Facebook!