One could argue that July is among the most American of months with U.S. Independence Day playing so prominently. Likewise, it reigns supreme as at least one of the top two months for good ol’ fashioned American barbecuing and grilling. But if we waved our flags and offered our Inspired Wine Club members some very American Zinfandel, they might note that we have done that on many other Julys. We thought it might be time for a change.

This year, instead, we decided to celebrate international relationships, and especially our history with France, harkening back to their assistance in World War I and II; Ben Franklin’s ambassadorship that encouraged them to help us during our own Revolutionary War; and, of course, their iconic gift of friendship: the Statue of Liberty. Plus, let’s be honest: the wines this month are just really great wines. They are also perfect companions to our very American cooking during these hot July days: the hearty red blend is ready to match your best steak, and the charming Sauvignon Blanc marries perfectly with freshly caught lake fish. May your picnics and parties this month be filled with only fun, family and great wine!

2015 Chateau Puech-Haut Prestige Rouge, Languedoc

A definite “what’s not to love” kind of wine, this seductive combination of 65-80-year-old Grenache and 45-year-old Syrah is the perfect example of why wine critics rave about wines from Languedoc. Capitalizing on the limestone-rich terroir of Saint-Drézèry in the eastern Languedoc, this rich red blend is fermented and aged in concrete to create a wine that captures the warm climate of the Mediterranean with all its floral aromatics of dark fruit, spice and cracked pepper. This is a full-bodied, earthy wine with notes of dark cherries and berries, licorice and balanced herbaceousness. Its acidity and fine tannins make for a quaffable wine that makes just about any grilled steak taste that much better.

2016 Chateau Ducourt Bordeaux Blanc, Entre-Deux-Mers, Bordeaux

An inviting luminous pale yellow wine, this Sauvignon Blanc is just right for your summer occasions, looking elegant in the glass and refreshingly tasty on the palate. Citrus aromas are accompanied by scents of boxwood and white flowers and followed up on the palate with a bold roundness that is flavorful, yet not too heavy for a summer wine. This is a perfect pairing for the lighter fare we tend to eat when temperatures rise. Shrimp cocktail, grav lox, freshly grilled rainbow trout: serve one of these with the Ducourt Bordeaux Blanc, and you find your happy place.

Photo credit: jill111 via Pixabay



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