There’s nothing more liberating than having official plans for Memorial Day weekend when finally out of quarantine.
When Mr. W&D asked me where I wanted to go this Memorial Day… I realized I almost forgot how to plan a four-day weekend trip. Then suddenly, my hot little hands remembered my TripAdvisor app and love of fancy hotels.
So, if you’re planning on barbecues with friends, RVing out of town, drinking while watching the neighborhood on your porch, or avoiding family that you happily haven’t seen for a very long time…
I’m going to make choosing the best wines for your Memorial Day Weekend the easiest part of your plans.
I recommend chilling all of these porch pounder wines and letting them live happily in your fridge until ready to drink.
And, of course, grab a couple of each.
#1 Gavi La Chiara
La Chiara Gavi is an Italian porch pounder made from the Cortese grape from the Gavi di Gavi appellation (say that three times fast).
It’s a perfect switch up for all you Sauvignon Blanc lovers and is delightful sipped on its own. It’s clean and fresh, with notes of green apple, honeydew melon, and acacia wood.
Gavi di Gavi goes best with fish dishes, crab cakes, or roasted vegetables like asparagus or zucchini.
Country: Italy | Region: Gavi | Price: $14
#2 La Vieille Ferme Rosé 2020
What would the start of summer be without Rosé?
Honestly, I have no idea, but I know it’s the start of hot weather when I’m standing in the rosé wine aisle at my local wine shop and I spy a 60ish Southern Belle in her tennis whites rocking a mini skirt that I don’t even dare to wear…sidling up next to me.
She says, “Which rosé do you like?”
“Depends on your budget.”
She laughs, but I’m dead serious.
If you want a recommendation, I need to know how many dollars you want to part with.
“Oh, let’s say $10 a bottle.”
“Then you’ll want La Vieille Ferme Rosé from Famille Perrin,” I point to the bottom shelf.
“Don’t let the fact that it’s on the bottom fool you. It’s fresh and elegant. Think strawberry, tart cherry, white flowers, green peppercorns, and pink grapefruit with a little saltiness.”
“How’s the finish?” She asks.
“Nice dry and longgggg.”
She grabs four bottles immediately.
Damn, I’m good, I think. Just then, one of the wine shop guys walks in our direction and plunks a case of White Burgundy (the ultimate French Chardonnay) in her cart and says, “Here’s your order, ma’am.”
Suddenly I want to be Mrs. Tennis Whites when I grow up.
La Veille Ferme is available in 750 ml bottles or a 3L box! That’s right…boxed wine that you don’t have to hide.
It is made from a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah from France. It’s aged in stainless steel. This rosé uses the saignée method where the juice from the early stages of red wine fermentation is bled off.
The saignée method (meaning “bleeding” in French) involves making rosé a by-product of red wine fermentation. The winemaker must remove a portion of the pink juice from the grape at an early stage, and this is fermented separately to produce rosé.
In fact, François Millo, president of the Provence Wine Council (CIVP), has slammed saignée method rosé as “not true rosé.”
Anyway, François remains touchy, but I don’t care. La Veille Ferme rosé wine is delicious, goes with any type of food, and highly quaffable. It’s my “go-to” rosé wine for Memorial Day or any day of the week.
Country: France | Region: Rhône valley in the Ventoux appellation | Price: $10
#3 Lambrusco di Sorbara “Premium” 2020 Cleto Chiarli e Figli
Now I know this wine might require a little “selling” to ya…but stay with me here…
Lambrusco is like an underappreciated mother who still insists on picking up the check when you go out to dinner. So if you’ve got one of those tell her, “Thank you.”
Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC is a Sparkling. Red. Wine.
Yes, you read that right… It’s a sparkling red wine.
It’s not sweet. I think Lambrusco is one of the best and most versatile wines for Memorial Day weekend. The pale garnet hue and crisp fizziness with luscious foam tastes like strawberries, raspberries, and roasted almonds. Don’t worry. It’s dry with a silky mineral finish.
I personally love drinking this while sitting by the pool, trying not to get splash by small hooligans that happen to be related to me.
Serve it with barbeque pork, chicken, or beef. Lambrusco even goes surprisingly well with mushroom or eggplant dishes.
Country: Italy | Region: Emilia-Romagna | Price: $18
#4 Muscadet Sevre Et Maine Sur Lie AOP from Vignobles Lacheteau
What the heck is Muscadet? Well, it’s also known as Muscadet Sur Lie or Melon de Bourgogne, and in my opinion, this is like drinking a way more complex Sauvignon Blanc.
Don’t rage at me… I’m telling you Muscadet is an excellent option if you’re always reaching for the Sauv Blanc. So change it up, Susan.
It’s creamy, complex, refreshing, and bone dry.
Now Muscadet isn’t Moscato. Please don’t confuse the two; I discovered this Trader Joe’s Muscadet Sevre Et Maine whilst checking out.
Mr. W&D was over Trader Joe’s while I oohed and ahhed at every wine bottle. He was practically pushing the cart to the checkout while I kept running behind, adding more bottles.
“You have excellent taste in wine,” the clerk said. I nodded and smiled. I was mentally tallying up the damage to be inflicted on my wallet.
“Wait! I have to show you this wine, you’re going to love it,” he said.
Jolted out of my calculations, he walked off toward the wine aisle facing us, and I followed…
“This is fantastic,” he said, holding up the Muscadet.
“I’ll take two bottles!”
Muscadet is a pale straw-colored wine and usually an excellent value wine.
It’s bright lemon, gooseberry, pineapple, hints of grass, golden apple, a touch of saline, and brioche. It’s effortless to drink and not overly fragrant.
But not all Muscadet is created equal. For a quick tip, make sure it has “Sur Lie” on the label, which means that the Muscadet is a higher expression of the wine. Also, “with lees” is a process where the wine is kept in contact with dead yeast cells, creating more texture and depth, giving you creamy and yeasty notes like brioche and toast.
This Muscadet plays well with shellfish, mussels, nachos, fried cod or cod sautéed in butter, grilled chicken, Mexican corn, or grilled cheese sandwich.
Country: France | Region: Loire Valley | Price: $8
#5 Saint Cosme Côtes du Rhône 2020
Are you ready for a Syrah that’s not from Australia? Well, if it were, it would be called Shiraz. 😉
This Syrah from the Southern Rhone Valley produced at the Château de Saint Cosme, the leading estate of Gigondas makes the appellation’s benchmark wines.
The vineyards are located in the stony Villafranchian terraces of the Gard, known for their limestone sand, red clay, and pebbles, which give a bright intensity to the Syrah grapes.
The exciting thing about Saint Cosme Côtes du Rhône Syrah is it’s vinified in concrete vats, which allows the spicy notes of black pepper, sandalwood, crushed violets, and wild thyme to shine through. It’s an intense oxblood colored aromatic wine.
This French Syrah won’t be as bold and lush as an Australian Shiraz, so don’t compare it. But it’s sharp and aggressive with firm tannins.
If you’re into big name wine critics Mr. Parker’s Wine Advocate loves this wine, they even refer to it as a “perennial bargain…from a vintage’s lineup that’s flat-out terrific.”
Stick this medium bodied red wine in the fridge for 45 minutes before serving. You’ll get the full expression of the luscious fruit flavors this way.
This Syrah pairs delightfully well with grilled ribeyes, hamburgers, spareribs, baked beans, venison, spicy dishes, smoked brisket, pork butt, pizza, or even roasted lamb.
Country: France | Region: Côtes-du-Rhône | Price: $18
Drop me a comment or send me an email and let me know how you enjoyed these fabulous porch pounder wines for Memorial Day weekend and beyond!