Thomas Jefferson once famously said, "No nation is drunken where wine is cheap and none sober where the dearness of wine substitutes arden sprits as the common beverage..." He cared about the social pace of fine wine dining but he wanted to make a less formal atmosphere at his parties. He was determined that a mellow atmosphere with good wines added up to a more cordial acceptance of his suggestions for running the country.
As we gear up for the 4th of July holiday, barbecue and good friends come to mind as well as great wine. Grilling requires mature, full reds with tannins and heavy dark fruit. While grilling, use intense heat to seal all the juices in the meat and form a crusty outside whether it red meat, sausages or chicken. Since grilling uses high heat it's fast. Think Red Zinfandel or a young Bordeaux from Cotes de Castillon. Since BBQ is is genarally heavy it matches well with heavier rustic wines. Think Oaky rich and fruity whites as well, like a Washington Reisling. The intense smokey flavors bounce on the palate. Put out some figs, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon and seedless grapes along a healthy serving of Camambert, Stilton, Spanish Manchego and Irish Cheddar and you have the makings of a great holiday spread.
Yes, cheeses are great too at the barbecue! Try the Camambert with the Bordeaux and watch your eyes roll back. Then try it with the cheddar and so on. Induldge! Invite your friends and family over and make sure you talk about the wine and how it all works because it does. Your holiday gang will appreciate it and to think this thought bubble all started with musing about Thomas Jefferson and a great real old book from the past called Jefferson and Wine by the Vineferas Wine Growers Association; nevertheless have great fourth!