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Labor Day Weekend Wine Fun Part 2

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Want to stay local? Check out Los Angeles Times “The Taste” food & wine event at Paramount Studios, with five events starting Friday night, August 29th, and ending Sunday, August 31st. Hob knob with LA’s best chefs, shake it up with cocktail mixologists, and drink in wine presentations, from France, Rioja, and California. Enter the Secret Cellar during Sunday’s Flavors of LA event, where award-winning international wines are poured. Tickets are available online, and include food, beer, wine, and spirits tasting, plus seminars and presentations. A fabulous time will be had by all!

If you really just want to relax with a glass in your hand, invite some friends over for a backyard BBQ. Plunge some sparkling French Crémants into the ice bucket, those from Limoux or the Loire are very affordable, such as Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut, a blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc, pale yellow with tiny bubbles, and peach, pear, ginger and brioche notes. Chill a French rosé, most refreshing because they are dry, lower in alcohol, and go well with almost all foods. Splurge on the Clos Mireille Rosé 2013, a stunning Cru Classé rosé from Provence, a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah, with explosive aromatics and crisp acidity. Cool climate versions of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc can quench your thirst and pair well with lighter food. Four Vines 2012 Naked Unoaked Chardonnay is very refreshing, with good acidity, apple, pear, grapefruit, lemon, and tropical fruit notes, and a smooth texture from the lees aging, an easy drinking wine that is an outstanding value. Lighter reds can work well with steaks from the grill, such as the 1999 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja, an elegant, complex red with red cherry, orange rind, spice and savory notes, a spectacular deal under $20. If you’re having BBQ ribs, go for the Zinfandel, a zesty choice to stand up to the smoke and sweet of barbecue sauce. Try the 2011 Four Vines Truant Zinfandel, a meaty, nuanced wine with plum, blackberry, spice, smoke, and earthy notes, a great buy for a juicy, balanced red.

The above wines are available at K & L Wines in Hollywood, Costco in Burbank, and other local wine shops.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!