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The Working Person's Wine...

Photo by: David Yellen

Posted: Aug 30, 2006 9:59am ET

Labor Day is approaching, which means the summer is ending (sad), but the kids are going back the school (whew!).

It won't be long before the grill is covered up for winter and the vegetable garden is a pile of mulch. This is the last long weekend we get to open up some really good stuff before we trudge our way to the year-end holidays.

I'll be off from now through the long weekend. While my Bahamas trip has been hurricaned out, I'll carpe diem and rampage through my cellar for the next few days. Not sure where my mood will take me, though you can bet the Rhône will rear its pretty head a lot.

Let me know what you'll be drinking this weekend, and I'll check back in on Tuesday.


Michael Keen
Urbandale, Iowa —  August 30, 2006 11:12am ET
well James, I hope that you have a great long weekend, as I know I will. It's my birthday weekend and I'll be enjoying a wonderful 97 J. Rochioli Russian River, Three Corner Vineyard Pinot for starters. This may end up going through to the bottle of 95 Renwood Grandpere Zinfandel and maybe even the 99 William Hill "Aura" Cab.Cheers
Paul Anderson
Longview, TX —  August 30, 2006 12:38pm ET
We'll be spending the weekend on a lake in East Texas which, like all is significantly down. I be bringing along some of my favorites from the South Central California Coast. - Cambria 2004 Pinot Noir Estate Bottled Bench Break Vinyard ; Buttonwood Farms 2000 Merlot Reserve; Foxen 2003 Syrah Williamson-Dore Vineyard; Blackjack Ranch 2004 Chardonnay Wilkenikng Vinyard and two wines from my home state of Texas - Los Pinos Ranch Vinyards 2004 Syah Vitners Reserve; Beckner Vinyards 2004 Claret.and maybe a couple for options...
Jeffrey Ghi
New York —  August 30, 2006 12:55pm ET
Coors Light, Killians, Sam Adams and Hoegaarden =). Chase it all down with like 50 hot dogs, 5 pounds of ribs, 5 pounds of buffalo wings and at least 20 burgers, oh and 1 celery stick.
La Quinta, CA —  August 30, 2006 2:34pm ET
I love holidays! A good excuse to drink good wine with good friends! 2004 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, 2004 Leonetti Merlot, and 2004 Rosenblum Monte Rosso Zin is good for starters. I think I'll finish off with 2003 Carter To Kalon Cabernet and 2001 Bond Melbury. Cheers! Dustin
Aaron Mandel
Saint Louis —  August 30, 2006 3:01pm ET
Other than a '96 Cepages for our anniversary, I haven't quite decided what else will be opened; but I want to go to Jeffrey's
David A Zajac
August 30, 2006 3:16pm ET
Jeffrey, glad you didn't eat totally unhealthy this weekend, that celery stick is important! As for your food, I find a big zin (Turley, Martinelli) is awesome with BBQ ribs, buffalo wings too, depending on the sauce. As for the hot dogs, beer is a good choice, especially the Killians and Sam Adams, but what on earth is Hoegaarden - I am almost afraid to ask as it sounds....well, use your imagination.
Dan Jaworek
Chicago —  August 30, 2006 3:38pm ET
James,I have no idea what will be consumed this weekend but I wanted to say that you shouldn't feel bad about the end of the summer. For a wine drinker, the fall is the perfect time to start enjoying wine.....and food. Who wants to simmer a cassoulet all afternoon and wash it down with a full bodied Rhone in July. But in October it sounds inviting....even more inviting when you can hear the snow plow outside and you're pouring your second cup of coffee. This is the time of year when you can really dial it up. Dan J
James Molesworth
August 30, 2006 3:54pm ET
Dan: You're spot on. Fall is great for wine and food. Just not for my golf game...
William Newell
Buffalo, NY —  August 30, 2006 4:05pm ET
We'll be going to an Italian restaurant on Saturday night for a birthday celebration for my sister-in-law. Knowing the wine list, we'll probably start with a Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, then a '97 Chiarlo Barolo, if it's still available. (Their red wine list is much better than the white, so there are lots of alternative possibilities). Sunday or Monday, we'll have steaks on the grill, probably with an '01 BV Georges Latour Cab. Other than that, we'll see what's cooking before deciding.
Robert Renner
Silver Spring, MD —  August 30, 2006 4:56pm ET
I couldn't agree more with Dan in Chicago. Fall is when I really start getting into serious red wine territory. In the hot summer (which to me includes Labor Day), I'm drinking crisp, clean whites. All good wines mind you, but nothing great. To David: Hoegaarden is a wonderful Belgium white beer. Usually pairs with mussels though, not hot dogs, hamburgers and ribs. But hey, it's all good right?
Mike Hansen
San Diego, CA —  August 30, 2006 6:46pm ET
My wife and I this July visted Chateauneuf de Pape La Nerthe in France. We will have a bottle of 1989 La Nerthe Curvee des Cadettes with BBQ Salmon.
Alex Guarachi
Woodland Hills —  August 30, 2006 11:09pm ET
Hi James, enjoy your time off! I will spend this weekend with my children and friends. Every day is a good day to drink a good bottle of wine. I will probably open a bottle of Flowers Pinot Noir to start with and then turn into a good Malbec from Argentina and finish with a bottle of Montes Folly. Salud!
William C Towne Jr
Valencia, CA —  August 31, 2006 1:36am ET
Big reds for BBQ this weekend in TN. Have a couple '98 Quivira Dry Creek Petite Sirah, couple 2000 Christopher Creek Petites, bottle of 2003 Handley Mendocino Pinot Noir... and who knows what else. Looking forward to the Petites though, as they should be great with the pork and beef ribs! Cheers!
Jeffrey Ghi
New York —  August 31, 2006 9:56am ET
Hoegaarden is a white belgium beer as Robert mentioned. In the case of BBQ though, it's mainly used instead of sparkling water to clean the palate =). It has a very refreshing citrus/lemon taste that tingles on your tongue from the carbination. On the wine note, Italian Prosecco makes a great starter. And I usually love to finish with some fruit and a moscato d' asti. La spinetta makes a very enjoyable moscato.
Jeffrey Ghi
New York —  August 31, 2006 10:13am ET
Oh, and because a bbq won't be right without mac salad. Here's a recipe I screwed around with at home that I love.

1 box of elbow macoroni
1 1/2 cup of mayo
2 tblspns of apple cider (I like mine with more tang so I put 4-6)
2 tblspns of spicy mustard (again I like my tangy and spicy so I put 3-5)
1 cup of chopped celery
1 cup of sweet relish
Dash of salt and pepper.

Boil the pasta in salted water until done (Al dente or mushy, I do it kinda mushy). Take the celery, chop it up and add the 2tblspn vinegar to it (gives it more crunch). As soon as the pasta comes out, strain well (no water!) and add the mayo to keep the pasta from getting sticky. Add the mustard at this point and stir, taste for spiciness and adjust to taste. Add the sweet relish and the celery into the mix and fold it all in. Dash of salt and pepper and add more vinegar depending on your tastes.

I like to sneak in some anchovies sometimes if everyone is drinking heavier beverages. If you add anchovies do not add the salt.
Alan Vinci
springfield, n.j. —  August 31, 2006 1:41pm ET
Yes my friends summer is coming to it's unofficial end, and with that I will be celebrating this Labor Day Weekend, by starting out with a crisp matua 2004 sauvignon blanc to have with my freshly picked "Jersey tomatoes" and mozarella salad.I have a hard time of letting go of the summer,so I need to have this wonderful white again. Next can be either a 2002 Williams-Selyem pinot or a cdp, or both to usher in the beginning of the unofficial start to the fall season. Wishing all a wonderful holiday weekend with good wine and great family and friends.
Rick Klotz
Lake —  September 1, 2006 11:26am ET
Since you never quite know what's on the Labor Day menu as a guest, we prefer to bring an easy summer sipper like the Toad Hollow 'Eye of the Toad' Pinot Noir Rose or a Zin from Seghesio or Ridge. And not to forget the beer - this will also be the last hurrah for the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat or the Summer Ale.
Tim Kirchmann
The Quiet Corner of CT —  September 1, 2006 12:37pm ET
Monday we'll have grilled, marinated flank steak, and I'm thinking of opening some of the Onix Priorat to enjoy with the meal. But there may be a last-minute change to one of the great Jamesport Winery reds, like Melange de Trois. I can't see a wrong move either way! Happy quaffing! Tim
Jon Summersfield
Boca Raton, FL —  September 1, 2006 1:00pm ET
Well it's two get-togethers this weekend...at the first we're going to be drinking Cakebread Rub¿at 2004 (which has always gone so well with ribs & burgers!) and St. Supery Dollarhide Ranch Sauvignon Blanc which is crisp and holds up well when being consumed in Florida's sweltering evenings! On Monday it's 'all red-day'! RC Syrah (Rubicon Estate) and a magnum of Paradigm Cabernet Sauvignon 2000...anything else will be a bonus at that point but that's the plan!!....Wishing everyone a wonderful Labor day weekend....Cheers!
Jim Mason
St. John's —  September 1, 2006 4:09pm ET
Several wines on the long weekend agenda. I just polished off a 2003 Greg Norman Limestone Coast Shiraz with the boss (also a wine nut) as a kickoff for the weekend. Will polish off a d'Arenburg 2002 Footbolt Shiraz tonight over a pizza with the wife. Tomorrow evening is a belated anniversary dinner at home with rack of Australian lamb with two bottles of 1994 Chateau de Beaucastel CdeP. And Monday is an all day BBQ at a friend's house with loads of red meat and many bottles of Argentine Malbec and Chilean Cabs. Might have to postpone the weight loss plans until Tuesday.
Jared Wagner
Maple Valley, WA —  September 1, 2006 4:21pm ET
It's actually going to be hot here in Seattle so we are going to start with maybe a Page Cellars Rose and then head to a K Vinters 04 Viognier. Finish up the night with an 02 Buty Rediviva of the Stones and an 03 Cayuse Widowmaker. If you can't tell, big Washington wine fan!
Norma Poole
Las Vegas —  September 1, 2006 6:06pm ET
I'll be opening a magnum of Cakebread Napa Valley 1995...YUM! Along with my favorite Las Vegas-heat- thirst quenching Tavel Rose, Borthwick Sauvignon Blanc, and perhaps some bubbles...Billecart Salmon!!
Gerald Ansel
Fullerton, CA —  September 1, 2006 7:42pm ET
We'll be in sunny San Diego, enjoying crisp Spanish Albari¿o, white blends and ros¿ like Vi¿a Silva's "Las Brisas," Valminor and Muga.
Anthony Dixon
Atlanta, GA —  September 2, 2006 1:54pm ET
Monday we'll be having the 2003 Mettler Family Vineyards Petite Sirah with a brisket slow-cooked over apple wood. EEEK! I'm hungry now.
Michael Appleton
Moraga, CA —  September 3, 2006 12:04pm ET
We're digging out some older turley zins and a biale petit syrah. Who know's how the turley's are doing 10 years later, but should be a good match with pulled pork, ribs, and brisket
Jared Leon
ny. ny —  September 3, 2006 7:51pm ET
well i know it is a little late for this post but figured why not. we opened a 1985 heitz martha's vineyard, 2002 martinelli woolesy road chrard and 2002 martinelli gerwurtziminer.James i know what you mean about golf season being over..just hope for an indian summer!
Don Mooney
Vancouver, B.C. —  September 4, 2006 4:04am ET
Hey James,Luckily, Vancouver has nice moderate weather almost all year around so any wine will go, it depends on what you feel like drinking and the food you feel like eating with the wine. This weekend found us having a 2002 Masi Campofiorin from Italy.(With BBQ'd hamburgers...a great match by the way especially with Swiss cheese on the burgers) We may break out a 2003 Quails' Gate Merlot from B.C., or a 2004 d'Arenberg Laughing Magpie from Australia. Next week is my wife & I's 10th anniversary and I think we'll crack open the 1999 Penfolds Yattarna I've been saving for "the right moment". Lookin' forward to that one ! Hope your weekend is great!
James Molesworth
September 5, 2006 1:49pm ET
I've just returned from the long (and very rainy) holiday weekend. I've a few hundred emails to sift through as I get back into the flow here...

Over the weekend we had (among others) a '96 Williams-Selyem Olivet Lane Pinot Noir, '00 Montevetrano, '00 Grand-Puy-Lacoste, '01 Achaval-Ferrer Finca Mirador and a '99 Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Turckheim Heimbourg Vendange Tardive...

I also managed to get into the finals of my club championship flight. The short irons weren't so solid, but the driver was long and the putter hot at the right time...thank god for the short work week, as I'm fired up for my final match...
Neil Koffler
New York, NY —  September 6, 2006 11:31am ET
My daughter's Bat Mitzvah was this weekend and we had guests every night from Thursday through Monday in addition to the party itself. Most of us drank beer at the party to avoid the awful Mevushal wine (caterer's requirement). Otherwise we served the following:
Thursday: Omaka Springs 2003 Sauvignon Blanc. Dinner was takeout Chinese food after the airport runs.
Friday: Spottswoode 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, Marc Colin et Fils 2002 St. Aubin 1er Cru Les Combes, Fireblock Old Vines Grenache 2002, Trumpeter Malbe/Syrah 2003. Dinner: Grilled chicken with mango salsa.
Saturday: Beer and Cline 2002 Old Vine Mouvedre with Pizza and leftovers. Then, after most people were gone and the kids were in bed 2001 BV Tapestry Reserve with aged parmesan.
Sunday: Leftovers and Indian food with 1991 Chimney Rock Elevage from magnum, 2001 Ch. St. Jean Cinq Cepages.
Monday: Ruca Malen 2004 Chardonnay, 2000 Vinhos Sogrape Reserve Duoro with chicken and black bean salad.
Sharing some of these special bottles made the weekend all the more special. The Spottswoode was fantastic. The Elevage, BV and Cinq Cepages were each excellent in their own way.

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