With July 4th fast approaching, wines that complement the weekend have been on all of our minds at the VinePair office this week. When we think of the 4th, we’re looking for bright, light, and enjoyable red wines that are perfect for sipping while watching fireworks. In the spirit of the holiday we also want a wine that’s “American.”
While it’s fair to say that there are no purely American wines – besides of course Norton – since the majority of the most popular grapes migrated to the US from Europe, there are still certain wines that feel distinctly American. One of these wines is Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Pinot is among the most celebrated and beloved red wines in the US, and we feel it’s a fitting choice for the fourth.
The bottle we chose was a Montinore Estate 2013 Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley. The Willamette Valley is our country’s most celebrated region for high-quality Pinot, and Montinore is one of the region’s largest high-quality producers. Much of the Pinot Noir that comes out of Willamette is either mass produced juice or boutique productions that have achieved cult status. Montinore has gained a reputation for wine that is quality while still being relatively affordable.
In the glass the wine was a light red, almost the color of bricks, and it gave off a distinctly strawberry aroma. One of our tasters even commented that the aroma reminded him of vine-ripened tomatoes, freshly crushed and ready for pasta sauce. The wine was bright and light on the palate, with a nice pucker (acidity) and very little tannins. This absence of tannins made the wine incredibly smooth and palatable. We remarked that all you’d need is a cool glass of wine, a blanket and fireworks, and you’d be well on your way to a great fourth.
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