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Credit: Chateau Montelena

While we all love and appreciate wine pairings with traditional July 4th BBQ fare of burgers, brats, and hotdogs– if wine is the centerpiece of your July 4th bar, you might consider putting together some pairings for some of America’s favorite “sides” as far as July 4th al fresco dining goes. Given the holiday, the recommended wines are of course all-American.

Guest writer: Alyssa Rapp, Partner at AJR Ventures

Coleslaw, potato salad, and …. Whip wine pairings?

Credit: Duckhorn
Credit: Duckhorn

Dips

Great news about dips such as hummus, tzatziki, spinach & artichoke dip, etc., is that their weightiness can often stand-up to a wide-range of whites, but their zestiness can also make them a lovely complement to Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

Duckhorn Vineyards seems truly appropriate to feature on July 4th, as the most poured Merlot historically at the White House. They also produce one of America’s tastiest Sauvignon Blancs- offering classic citrus and nectarine flavors balanced by wonderfully integrated oak notes.

Wine pick: Duckhorn Vineyards 2015 Sauvignon Blanc ($28.95). Find it here.

Credit: lcbo.com
Credit: lcbo.com

Coleslaw or Potato Salad

If you like creamy coleslaw, then you can’t go wrong with a California Chardonnay. Its full, lush, creamy character should perfectly complement these All-American sides.

If you’re looking for an all-American, gulpable California Chardonnay under $15, J.Lohr offers one of the best value whites around. Creamy with hints of oak and vanilla, it is a perfect, affordable pairing to most July 4th al fresco fare.

Wine pick: J.Lohr Riverstone Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay ($11.95). Find it here.

Credit: Winesearcher.com
Credit: Winesearcher.com

Pigs in a Blanket

This absolutely classic and mouthwateringly-tasty appetizer is rich and juicy, and a perfect pairing for a smooth, elegant, and luscious California Cabernet. And there are few as affordable and coiffable as by Cannonball Wine Company.

Wine pick: Cannonball 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($13.95). Find it here.

Credit: Chateau Montelena
Credit: Chateau Montelena

Grilled fruits or Angel Food Cake that is topped with Cool Whip, strawberries and blueberries.

If you’re a fan of a lighter kind of 4th of July desserts such as grilled pineapple, or a fan like the good-old-fashioned red-white-and-blue of angel food cake topped with Cool Whip, strawberries, and blueberries, the key pairing tip to remember is that you don’t want your dessert to be sweeter than your wine, lest the wine will “fall flat.”

A subtly-sweet Riesling pairs perfectly with these desserts. Given the holiday, best to select a riesling from Chateau Montelena, as featured in the cult favorite wine country flick, Bottle Shock. (Chateau Montelena Chardonnay beat out all the French wines in the famous 1976 tasting- helping to put Napa Valley on the world-wine map…as featured in the movie BottleShock.)

Wine pick: Chateau Montelena 2013 Potter Valley Riesling ($24.95). Find it here.