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Send off summer with wine and barbecue

The calendar says Labor Day is upon us once again, but the end of summer, as Labor Day generally suggests, is not over yet. There is still plenty of sipping at the pool, backyard barbecuing and picnic in the park weather left! Each of these occasions calls for a great meal and amazing wine!

Sipping by the pool? Don't put away those summer sipping whites just yet. Do be sure to have some acrylic glassware on hand (nothing kills a pool party faster than broken glass!), such as GoVino's flexible acrylic glassware. Look to Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi on Woodbridge Road in Lodi to get some of these. While you are there, you may as well pick up a bottle or two of Moscato and Muscat Hamburg, two sweet whites sure to please. For a sparkling refresher, try a bottle of Pomegranate or Citron flavored sparkling wines from Weibel Family Vineyards tasting room in downtown Lodi at 13 North School Street.

Backyard barbecue on the agenda? So many food options - ribs, burgers, hot dogs and brats, chicken, peaches, veggies.....the list goes on and on. How about a zinfandel? Zinfandel from most any Lodi winery is a safe bet, but try the 2012 Century Block Old Vine Zinfandel from Fields Family Wines for a lighter style of zin that will be barbecues best friend. For a different foodie red, try a bottle of their 2012 Il Ladro - a food-friendly sangiovese blend. Of course, a tempranillo is another excellent choice for a barbecue red - head over to Riaza Wines at 20 West Elm Street in downtown Lodi - they have a 2012 Tempranillo, as well as several other Spanish-inspired reds to accompany what's on your grill.

Picnic in the park? What's the occasion? What's in the basket? What's NOT going to go with a bottle of bubbly? Head back to Weibel Family Vineyards and do a tasting through their selection of sparkling wines, and pick one. Or two. Maybe even three! There are over six to choose from, and they are priced just right for celebrating (none over $20.00!).

For an overview of the abundance of Lodi wines to choose from, visit the Lodi Wine and Visitors Center at 2545 West Turner Road in Lodi for a huge selection of Lodi wines, perfect for every occasion you can think of to prolong summer celebrating! May the hardest labor you have to perform this Labor Day weekend be pulling corks and repeated hand to mouth lifting.