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exploring wine with tim fish

Think Bubbly When Beating the Holiday Heat

With the western U.S. broiling, uncork sparkling wine for July 4th
Photo by: David Yellen

Posted: Jul 3, 2013 11:00am ET

One of the reasons I moved to Sonoma County 24 years ago was to get away from the sweltering Midwestern summers. Back then, few people in Sonoma had air conditioning because they didn't need it.

That's not true anymore.

Heat waves are no longer unusual, with 95° to 100° F days stretching for a week at a time. That's been the case this week, when much of the western United States is baking. Tomorrow, on the Fourth of July, the thermometer could reach nearly 100° F at my house.

I usually smoke ribs or a brisket or chicken on Independence Day, but that's not going to happen this year. I'll be outside as little as possible. As Woody Allen said, "I don't tan. I stroke." This year I'll grill salmon or something else that's easy and light.

As for the wine, it's bubbly for me. Not only will it go well with the heat and salmon, but also the Fourth is a day of celebration after all, right?

Some of my current favorites from California include Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée Green Valley of Russian River Valley 2008 (92 points, $38) and Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley NV (91, $23), which are both sleek and vibrant. Domaine Carneros Brut Carneros 2008 (90, $27) is festive and floral, and the 2009 is just entering the market and it's equally as good.

I also look to Italy for sparkling wines that beat the heat. Look for Cavit Brut Prosecco Lunetta NV (86, $13), which is juicy and loaded with peach, melon and spice flavors, as well as the mouthwatering Carlo Bisol Solighetto Extra Dry Prosecco L'Enso NV (88, $23).

What are you celebrating with tomorrow, especially those of you trying to keep cool?

Mark Lyon
Sonoma, California —  July 3, 2013 2:44pm ET
Normally, Sauvignon Blanc and Dry Rose when it's hot. Didn't think about bubbly and 4th, but that's a very good suggestion. Grilling is going to be so simple; Just Hot Dogs and onions (to smother with). Fireworks should be amazing with the clear skies! Happy 4th of July to all!
Donald Chigazola
Santa Rosa, CA, USA —  July 3, 2013 4:30pm ET
Definitely Prosecco! I prefer a "zero dosage" (zero sugar). Paolo Zucchetto Puro-Fol ($19.99), served about 45 deg F. And for those as obsessive as me, chill the glasses in the freezer prior to pouring.
Bill Matarese
Florida, USA —  July 3, 2013 4:41pm ET
Cordonieu's "Anna de Cordonieu" Brut Rose. I know it's not American, but a local wine shop had a "buy one get one free" deal at 2 for $11.99, so I loaded up on this. It's actually not a bad bubbly and the guests will think I'm being a big sport.
Lynelle A Larson-gre
Milwaukee, wi —  July 3, 2013 10:41pm ET
We'll be having Domaine Chandon Brut Classic. Can't resist a classic American sparkler for the (classic American) holiday. We'll be saving our Champagne for Bastille Day ;)
Dave Reuther
Deerfield, Illinois —  July 4, 2013 5:57pm ET
Temperatures are below normal in my area. I'll be having my last bottle of Rosenblum 2005 Rockpile Zin with ribs.
Mahesh Lekkala
Livingston, NJ, USA —  July 5, 2013 3:21pm ET
Opened bunch of sparklers on July 4th. The highlights include dom perignon 1990 and interestingly enough DOmaine Carneros Brut 2008. It was drinking incredibly good and surprised all my guests.

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