Prepare for the Fourth of July with fireworks, bottled variety. Racks and shelves are overstocked with polite, neutral stuff that fizzles faster than an old Roman candle. Here are some beverages that arrive with a big bang.
Bulleit Rye is a straight-shooting American whiskey, amber-hued, smooth, with dried-fruit notes. Try it in a Manhattan, or in a "rye smash," with mint, lemon, simple syrup and water. $28.
Early Times 354 Bourbon, a moderately priced Kentuckian from Brown-Forman, offers spice, dried fruit and a whiff of corn to buttress the vanilla. A return that's straightforward and to the point. $16.
From old, gnarly Sonoma vines comes the 2005 Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel, an intense and rich red that hints of wild berries, pepper and vanilla. A potent, oak-aged package. Get the grill ready. $55.
The 2007 Benessere Vineyards St. Helena Estate Sangiovese is a quick trip to Tuscany via Napa, heady with red fruit. The Chianti-style wine will complement husky, red-sauced pasta, grilled chicken, a well-made braciola. $28.
Long Island's Wine of the Week
Peach and apricot introduce the elegant, aromatic 2009 The Grapes of Roth Dry Riesling, a meticulous wine from Roman Roth. The Wölffer Estate winemaker produces seamless reds and whites under his own label. This vivid riesling is ideal with Asian fare, turkey, roast pork, ham, chicken potpie, on its own. $22.