Celebrate June's Special Days with Wine

Drinking pink this summer and finding Dad his ideal wine

By Sandra Crittenden
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School has ended, vacation plans are made, sweaters have been put away, and beachwear is the typical look. As the days grow longer and hotter, there are many opportunities to celebrate and refresh ourselves as we enter the new season. 

 National Rosé Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of every June. This year, it falls on June 8. International Rosé Day is celebrated on the fourth Friday, and this year it falls on June 28. 

 The case can be made that this chilled refresher is the best choice on any hot day between those dates, creating a 20-day celebration of drinking pink even though true lovers of this rosy beverage enjoy it as a staple all summer long. 

 Rosé can be made with many different varieties of grapes. This dry and refreshing style of wine has a surprising range of fruity notes and often has a fresh, mineral edge, making it easy to enjoy or pair with various foods. Rosé works as easily with crudo, ceviche, and sushi as it does with fried chicken, hot dogs, and pizza. 

 National Rosé Day unquestionably requires a bottle of domestically made wine. Pinot lovers can find solid options like Russian River Valley winery Rodney Strong or Oregon’s Erath winery sold at grocery stores and Target.

 A local domestic rosé from Texas is also a great way to acknowledge the day. The Duchman Dry Rosé made from Dolcetto and Aglianico, two Texas-grown Italian grapes, is a balanced and juicy choice to enjoy all summer. This wine can be ordered directly from the winery. 

 For international celebrations, it’s hard to beat Provence and its long tradition of making rosé. If you want to drink pink and support environmental awareness, “The Beach” brand from Chateau d’Esclans, is an excellent way to celebrate the day and support global coasts. Known for Whispering Angel Rosé, Chateau d’Esclans created the “The Beach" line, partnering with the Surfrider Foundation. Surfrider focuses on ocean-friendly environmental responsibility. 

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 FATHER’S DAY CHEERS Is Dad the king of the house? In the world of wine, many bottles are “fit for a king” but two wines, in particular, are most often referenced with the word “king.” Barolo, which is known as the “King of Wines” and Champagne which is called “The Wine of Kings and King of Wines.” 

 Either would make a nice gift for Dad, however, try opening a bottle of traditional sparkling wine this year to get the Father’s Day celebration started. Champagne works well with a wide assortment of appetizers, including cold seafood, crudites, fried shrimp, or chicken bites. 

 Look for Andre Clouet Grand Cru Reserve Brut, as it is fresh, creamy, and rounded with a lingering finish. This would be perfect to drink alone, before dinner, with an array of simple fried or salty snacks, or with spicy Indian food. 

 Later, pour a glass of Barolo with the main course. From portobellos to braised short ribs, this Nebbiolo wine will please. Watch Dad enjoy this elegant, yet powerful glass of Marrone Barolo 2016, which is well-structured with floral, fruity, and savory nuances that are perfect with a protein-rich dinner. 

 If he is a more straightforward “Cab and a slab” kind of dad, look no further than Napa Valley. In Napa, Cabernet is king so he can still get the royal treatment but in a new-world style. 

 Give Dad a premium pour like Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2018 with his grilled ribeye; he’ll enjoy those classic Cabernet notes with his perfectly seared steak. 

 Or simply pick one of his favorites, letting him know that someone is listening. Since it is Dad’s special day and he’s the king, he may deserve both bubbles and red. 

 RAISE A GLASS TO JUNETEENTH Celebrate with wines by the McBride Sisters this Juneteenth. The McBride Sisters, who share a father, did not grow up together or meet until later in life.

 Despite this delayed start to their relationship, less than 20 years after meeting, they have built the largest black-owned wine company in the United States. All the wines are summer sip worthy, especially the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but as the day also falls during this month’s season of rosé, the McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Rosé is also one to try. 

 SUMMER SOLSTICE Everyone can share in celebrating Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. In 2024, it falls on Thursday, June 20. This is the perfect day to drink refreshing whites. 

 Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc may be the go-tos but lesser-known varieties like Vermentino and Picpoul Blanc are other light and crisp options to stay cool as summer heats up. Sticking with favorites may be a safe bet but discovering something new is exciting. 

 Try the Sa Raja Vermentino di Sardegna Tarra Noa 2021. This wine comes from an island off the Italian coast bringing citrus and juicy peach notes to the glass with wildflowers and a savory hint of saltiness, it tastes like summer in a glass. 

 June offers many reasons to celebrate and with the longer days, there is even more time to do so. Pop a bottle, pour a glass, and enjoy these long, sunny evenings with family and friends. The world of wine awaits.