Wahoo, Independence Day is a week from today! We hope you’ve got some fun plans that involve grilling, friends and family, fireworks, and summery wines!
We remember loving the 4th of July as kids, not only for watching fireworks, but especially for getting to play with sparklers, those magic wands of festive fire. These days, while we still enjoy a good pyrotechnic display, we’d go for another kind of sparkler: sparkling wine! Here are our picks for some delicious bubbly to help you celebrate our great nation’s birthday. Have a safe and happy Independence Day!
Frantz Saumon has been making wine in the Loire Valley since 2002 when he graduated from oenology school. He purchased a small plot of land for himself in Montlouis, and runs a negociant (a winemaker who buys grapes from other growers) business under the name Un Saumon dans la Loire, “A Salmon in the Loire”. Frantz only seeks out grapes that are grown organically and his approach to winemaking is very hands-off. He uses only natural yeasts and does not fine or filter his wines. This Petillant Naturel of Gamay is a sparkling wine made through only a single fermentation, unlike Champagne which has two fermentations. The juice is allowed to ferment with native yeasts, is lightly cooled to slow fermentation, and then bottled so fermentation will finish within the bottle – giving the wine a lightly sparkling quality. This wine has a gorgeous ruby hue and aromas of fresh cranberries. The palate is so refreshing and dry with tart pink grapefruit flavors, a light clove spice, and salty minerality. The perfect wine to kick off your 4th of July BBQ!
The Doyard family has a long and deep tradition of winemaking in the region of Champagne. Maurice Doyard rebuilt his vineyards after World War II and started estate-bottling Champagne in 1927. He later played a key role in establishing Champagne’s governing body, the Comité Interprofessionel de Vins de Champagne, which oversees quality, sets standards, and promotes the region. The estate is now under the direction of Yannick Doyard, Maurice’s grandson, who maintains one premiere cru and four grand cru biodynamically farmed vineyards. Nearly half of each year’s harvest is sold off and only the highest quality grapes are kept for use in Doyard’s wines. The Cuvee Vendemaire is a blend of the 2001, 2002, and 2004 vintages that was bottled in 2005 and let to rest until disgorgment in 2008. It’s 100% Chardonnay, some of which was aged in barrel. The use of oak and the longer aging period make this a special champagne! Beautiful aromas of elderflower and pear lead to a lush and creamy texture. Flavors of white peach, lemon, and toasty croissant are accompanied by elegant bubbles. We’re lucky Champagne pairs so easily with everything, because we can’t stop drinking this!
Cava: the national sparkling wine of Spain. Just as France has Champagne and Italy has Prosecco, Spain is home to Cava. Named after the ‘caves’ where it is aged, it’s made in the same manner as Champagne, having undergone two fermentations. However, the grapes used in Spain are different than those in France. Barcino Cava is a blend of the three main Cava grapes: Macabeo, Xarel.lo, and Parellada. But don’t worry about pronouncing those. All you have to worry about is how great this wine is! Bright lemon and citrus aromas lead to a crisp and minerally palate with flavors of lemon peel, lime, and tart green apple. Barcelona’s favorite sparkler is sure to find a comfortable home at your Independence Day celebrations. It’s perfect as an apertif or with cheeses and salumi.