July is the month for declaring your independence. Not only did we just celebrate July 4th, marking America’s independence from Great Britain, but our friends from France will set off their own fireworks in celebration of Bastille Day on July 14th.
Although this important holiday commemorates the overturning of the monarchy, placing France under a democratic rule, frankly, (or perhaps fancophilely), it is just a great excuse to play pétanque and drink some French wine!
Not sure which wines to grab for the occasion? Here are a few suggestions to help point you in the right direction.
C'est le Sauvignon Blanc!
In the heat of July, crisp, refreshing citrus-focused whites are a perfect accompaniment to salads as well as celebrations.
Mouton Cadet Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Bordeaux, France, $11.00
This dry wine has lovely acidity with fresh grapefruit and herbal aromas, which are joined by melon flavors.
Avant-Garde Bordeaux Blanc 2012, Bordeaux, France, $17.00
Another 100% Sauvignon Blanc wine, this wine has citrus, pith and mineral notes on both the nose and palate, culminating in long length.
Hooray for Rosé
Rosés are always a welcome option for summer seafood and other lighter fare.
Mouton Cadet Le Rose de Mouton Cadet 2012, Bordeaux, France, $11.00
A crisp quaffer that is perfect to drink on its own or paired with food. Floral and berry aromas greet the nose and are joined with melon flavors on the bright palate.
Château de Jonquières, Cuvée Cersius 2013, Languedoc, France, $24.00
Comprised of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, aromas of floral, berries and melon greet the nose, while the palate shows pink grapefruit, strawberry and some minerality.
Reds, white and blue
As Bill Blass once said, “When in doubt, wear red.” Apparently, a red dress (and red wine) never go out of style!
Château de Jonquières, Grand Reserve Cuvée Eole 2012, Corbieres, France, $27.00
From the Corbieres appellation in the Languedoc, this wine is a blend of 59% Grenache and 41% Syrah. On the nose, it delivers red and bramble fruit aromas, which persist on the very fresh palate, joined by spice and earthy notes along with ripe tannins and medium-full body.
Château La Pirouette Medoc 2011, Bordeaux, France, $38.00
This Cru Bourgeois wine brings together 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 20% Petit Verdot. Displaying typical Left-Bank Bordeaux aromas and flavors of menthol, oak, spice and black berry, this wine is full-bodied with ripe tannins and long length.
Bring on the bubbles!
Of course, bubbles are fine anytime, but are especially welcome at a celebration and the perfect sparkling wine for a French festival is Champagne.
Barons de Rothschild Brut NV Champagne, France, $97.00
This lovely Champagne offers up toasty, lemony, and brioche notes on the nose, which persist on the palate with long length.
Barons de Rothschild Brut Rose NV, Champagne, France, $123.00
A complex nose of yeast, berries and caramel greets the nose, giving way to very yeasty and toasty notes, coupled with fruit flavors of melon and red fruit on the beautiful palate.