I love Labor Day weekend, and we always spend it in the City, relaxing and avoiding traffic stress. For me it is a time to reflect on the summer, and prepare for autumn. As usual, we will celebrate my husband's birthday, invite over some friends to enjoy good food and our favorite summer wines. As we say goodbye to the summer why not enjoy some of the great value summer wines available across the country.
For us the summer has truly flown. It seems like only yesterday that we were pulling out the grill. While the weather was a lot cooler than usual there was no shortage of nice evenings for outdoor dining. We are just back from two great weeks in Ireland where the temperature rarely passed 60 degrees! As we drove in from the airport on Wednesday we could feel the heat and were already planning some outdoor-eating over Labor Day weekend.
Some summer's favorites that we'll feature include:
• Domaine de Montbourgeau NV, AOC Crémant du Jura, $22 - A great find this summer. This is a delicious Chardonnay based sparkling wine from the Jura region in Eastern France. Smooth persistent and lively bubbles with toasty brioche and creamy ripe apple flavors.
• 2008 Channing Daughters, Scuttlehole Chardonnay, North Fork, Long Island, New York, $16 – I simply love this unoaked Chardonnay. It is full of flavor but not heavy. Beautifully crisp with lovely flavors of greengage, apple, Asian pear and citrus notes.
• 2008 Spiropoulos "Meliasto" Rosé, Peloponnese, Greece, $13 – I am still in love with Greek wines, which offer great quality and value. Made from a blend of Moschofilero and Agiorgitiko grapes it is brimming with watermelon and red berry flavors with spicy herbal overtones. I love this with summer salads, freshly grilled fish and even meat dishes.
• 2005 d'Arenberg Shiraz, Footbolt, McLaren Vale, Australia, $18 – d'Arenberg is one of my favorite Australian producers, making wines that are full of flavor but not overly jammy or over-ripe. This one has a great mix of flavors – blackberry, plums, blueberry, smoke, black pepper, spice and notes of roasted meat that begs a cookout with lots of grilled meats.
Have a great week-end and some great wines!