Wine of the Week: What wine to pick for the Labor Day weekend?

Daylight may be receding, but we still have plenty of warm weather ahead for backyard grilling and indoor chilling.

Summer is winding down to a close, and the reentry into what was traditionally considered (at least, before the pandemic) the first regular workweek requires a gentle approach. A smooth landing back to work and school calls for the perfect Labor Day wine.

Here are a few wines to welcome the long Labor Day weekend and bid farewell to summer.

I love rosé wines any time of year, but summer just seems to be the perfect match for them. The Pale Rosé is offered by the producer of the iconic Provence Rosé, Whispering Angel. It is chic, stylish and a bit irreverent.

The whimsical label, which evokes New York’s glamorous early to mid-20th century cocktail party scenes, as well as the streetside cafes of London and Paris, was inspired by early illustrations from The New Yorker magazine.

The wine offers loads of strawberry and citrus-like aromas. The matching flavor profile sits on a lightly textured, medium-bodied frame that’s perfect for a hot summer day. The high acidity and delightful minerality keep the wine refreshing and bright, making it a perfect match with seafood and rotisserie chicken.

I’d drink it on its own, too. Refrigerate before serving. $17

If your Labor Day efforts require nothing more than a hammock and an ice bucket, then the 2018 Laetare Pinot Grigio from Friuli, Italy, is perfect to chill out with. The pretty straw-colored wine has a lovely floral nose that includes scents of nectarines and apple blossoms.

The crisp flavors of apples, passion fruit and honeyed-citrus make this a wine to pair with either barbecue chicken — or nothing at all. $15

And speaking of chilling out, many people don’t realize that putting a little chill on certain red wines provides a wonderfully refreshing alternative for red wine lovers, like the 2019 Drouhin Beaujolais Village from the Beaujolais Village AOC just south of France’s famed Burgundy region.

Made exclusively from Gamay grapes; fresh aromas of black fruits, red cherries and mild spices permeating the nose are repeated on the palate where baking spices and tea combine with silky tannins on the fresh finish.

It pairs well with a lot of different foods, like salmon, chicken and grilled meat. Chill for about 20 minutes before serving. $19

If you’re grilling steaks, burgers or ribs and are in the mood to splurge, then you’ll definitely want a big red wine. I suggest the 2016 Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma, California.

This is a full-bodied, richly textured wine that offers a remarkably rewarding bouquet of blackberries, blueberries and cherries. In the mouth, intense flavors of black currant, cherries, dark plums and black licorice liqueur wash over the front of the tongue, and a touch of mocha glides in on the powerful and sleek finish.

It’s the perfect accompaniment with either a burger or steak. $45

A helpful hint for summertime wine enjoyment: If you’re planning on serving your chilled wine outside, consider buying a spare bottle, opening it up a few hours before guests arrive and pouring it into a clean plastic ice cube tray.

Place the tray in the freezer, then use the frozen wine cubes to keep your guests’ wines chilled to the perfect temperature throughout the day.


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