If the spirit of independence continues to move you after the Fourth of July is over, why not celebrate Bastille Day, the July 14 holiday symbolizing the French revolt against its kings? Since the French assisted us in our revolution, celebrate theirs with a glass of French wine.
Tavel is synonymous with French rose’ and located near Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but unlike its famous neighbor, rose’ is the only wine produced in Tavel. The 500-year-old Chateau d’Aqueria is one of the best producers in Tavel and its 2010 Rose’ is raspberry red and filled with cherry aroma. It delivers a mouthful of strawberry-cherry flavor with a dry, tangy cherry finish.
The 2010 Chateau d’Aqueria Rose’ will be delightful sipping in the shade, or alongside a salad of grilled jumbo shrimp or chicken with Boston lettuce, caramelized walnuts and diced strawberries drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
The 2010 Chateau d’Aqueria Rose’ retails for approximately $18.
In snow-filled January, I enjoyed the 2009 Domaine du Tariquet Classic, a Vin de Pays des Cotes de Gascogne. Last week, I doubled my pleasure with a glass of the 2010 vintage of this crisp white wine.
It was a humid, 80-degree summer evening, and on the table of New York’s Back Forty restaurant was a pile of boiled and spiced Maryland soft shell crabs and jumbo shrimp. The 2010 Domaine du Tariquet Classic provided a refreshing lemon-thyme scent and palate-pleasing lemon-lime flavor. The wine’s acidity relieved both the crab’s peppery heat and summer’s enveloping humidity.
Domaine du Tariquet is in France’s Gascony region; it has been an armagnac producer for centuries, but only began using the region’s ugni-blanc and colombard grapes for white wine in the 1980s. How fortunate for us.
The low 11 percent alcohol and citrus character of the 2010 Domaine du Tariquet Classic and the extremely appealing price makes this a perfect summer party wine. And if you save a bottle for January, you’ll start thinking of summer.
The 2010 Domaine du Tariquet Classic retails for approximately $9.
If there is a perfect red wine for summer parties, it’s Beaujolais. Light and lively, served slightly chilled, Beaujolais’ ripe, tasty fruit is sunshine in a bottle.
Beaujolais has a pyramid classification. At the base is the regional wine, Beaujolais; in the middle is Beaujolais-Villages, a wine made from any of the 39 specified villages; at the top are 10 villages ranked Cru Beaujolais.
The 2010 Jadot Beaujolais-Villages is made from blending gamay grapes of its four Cru Beaujolais estates with purchased grapes from other vineyards. It ruby-purplish color, floral aroma, and red plum and pomegranate flavors are enticing and delicious.
Gamay has soft tannins and good acidity. Placed in a bucket of cold water or with just a small quantity of ice, the 2010 Jadot Beaujolais-Villages is a perfect partner for a grilled garden vegetable plate of eggplant, zucchini, yellow and red peppers sprinkled with goat cheese; or a selection of sliced sausages and salami. And it makes a good wine for toasting our French friend whose flag is also red, white and blue.
The 2010 Jadot Beaujolais-Villages retails for approximately $13.