Celebrate the Fourth of July with an all-American bar.
The 2013 Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Chardonnay ($26) is a versatile choice, with notes of peach and citrus plus a bit of minerality. Try it with fried or grilled chicken, salads, guacamole and chips, or maybe a plate of pasta with pesto.
For a rich, elegant white, look for the 2014 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard ORIGIN Chardonnay ($48), which is excellent with seafood, especially salmon and swordfish, crab or shrimp.
To go with raw oysters, a shrimp cocktail, ceviche, grilled scallops and grilled chicken, consider the 2015 Rodney Strong “Charlotte’s Home” Sauvignon Blanc ($17). Tropical fruit and citrus jump-start the bright, refreshing 2014 Priest Ranch Estate Grown Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($22), a match for shellfish.
Head red with the cassis-and-cherry driven 2013 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($28), which also hints at pepper and spice. It’s ideal with a grilled steak, prime rib and a big, juicy hamburger, medium-rare; or a Gruyère- or Gorgonzola-topped cheeseburger.
Zinfandel, syrah, carignane, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and petite sirah contribute to the plummy, blackberry blend of the 2013 Steelhead Vineyards North Coast Red Wine ($15), right with a burger, barbecue and spicy grilled sausages.
When the hot dogs come out, you could enjoy merlot, gamay or rose wines. But a beer is perfect. Some favorites with franks: Anchor California Lager, Brooklyn Lager, Narragansett Lager, Victory Prima Pils, and if you’re really going all out with the toppings, Brewery Ommegang Abbey Ale from Cooperstown.