For Bastille Day, as if you really need an excuse, enjoy French drinks.
The great names still cost plenty, no matter how the euro and the dollar dance. But you can find fairly priced wines and more that wave the tricolor.
La Quintinye Vermouth Royal is available in Blanc, Rouge, or Extra Dry. They're refined and rich. The red and white are fine on their own chilled. All work in cocktails. Give your Manhattan or Negroni a French accent. Each is about $22 for a 750-ml bottle; $15, for a 375-ml.
Go rosé and/or white with the summery, refreshing duet from 2014 M. Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut, satisfying wines from the Roussillon region. Figure $15 a bottle.
Barton & Guestier is celebrating 290 years of winemaking. A warm-weather treat: B&G's 2014 La Villa Barton Côtes de Provence, fruity and good as a sipper, with appetizers, even barbecue. It's about $20. The 2014 Barton & Guestier Vouvray Chenin Blanc is a floral, peach-pear production, versatile and $20 or less. A ruby, berry-full option is the 2011 Ch-teau Magnol, a B&G cru bourgeois from Haut-Médoc that's mainly merlot and cabernet sauvignon. It's ideal with red meat, and about $25.
And for the holiday, Champagne always is welcome, and worth the investment. Consider the 2006 Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé, a ripe, complex, concentrated, generous wine that's the house's 40th vintage rosé. It has a hint of cherry and plum, plus notes of toast, herbs, and, naturally, roses. About $90 for a true sparkler.