Memorial Day isn't just the unofficial start of summer. Traditionally, it's a time to honor those who have served, or currently serve this nation at home and abroad. We can't think of a better way to say thank you than with a hearty salute with some of our favorite American wines.
All that toasting is sure to work up an appetite, which is why our team at Wine & Spirits is teaming up with the All-American Cheese Box from Provisions. We've got a great selection of beautifully crafted American wines from amazing wineries from coast to coast. Expertly curated by our in-house sommelier, these wines pair as perfectly with the cheeses in this one-of-a-kind, grab-and-go cheese picnic in a box, as they do with any budget. But don't take our word for it. Check out these selections and the this sneak peek at All-American Cheese Box online or in-store today.
The Cheese:Cabot Clothbound Cheddar: Sweet, nutty sharp cheddar
Valravn Pinot Noir 2018 ($) - Valravn Pinot Noir is an exploration of Sonoma County, anchored in the Russian River Valley. Founded by Baron Zeigler, founder of Banshee Wines, and helmed by winemaker Rob Fischer the wines are made from sustainably farmed vineyards as far north as Annapolis and as far South as the Petaluma Gap. Lush dark cherry, ripe strawberry, and hints of rose petals dominate the ultrafragrant nose. The palate shows the weight of the Russian River component, with rich fruit compote and hints of cedar spice, balanced by beautiful elegance and minerality. An extraordinarily well-rounded wine with something for everyone.
Stolpman Vineyards "Love You Bunches" 2018 ($$) - Stretching across 220 acres on a rare limestone outcropping in the hills of California’s Central Coast, protected from the winds of the Pacific Ocean, Stolpman Vineyards is dedicated to natural, sustainable farming and making fresh, terroir-driven, vibrant wines with minimal manipulation. Bursting with energy, this Sangiovese is a far cry from the more rustic Chianti Classico. Cheekily light-hearted and meant to drink chilled, the grapes for this wine are fermented whole and gently pressed. In fact, the name "Love You Bunches" is a reference to this process. Aged in barrel for 30 months and in bottle for 6 months, the wine is irresistibly bright and zippy, leaning closer to a rose than a red in character, with notes of crunchy red berries, ruby grapefruit, and tangerine flowers backed by flexible, food-friendly tannins.
Dairyere: Piquant Swiss-style cow's milk cheese
Aha Wines "Bebame" El Dorado Red Blend 2015 ($) - Working with winegrower Ron Mansfield, Don Heistuman, created this charming red blend with a unique, complex personality, genuine style, and approachability--without the over-extracted jamminess of many California reds. The wine opens with aromas of ripe red berries, fresh picked herbs, and subtle spice. On the palate, the wine is light and fresh, balanced by supple, smooth tannins, that make it exceedingly food friendly. "Bebame" means "drink me" in Italian. Just one sip will demonstrate why this wine is perfectly named.
Poe Van der Kamp Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Meunier 2017 ($$) -
Founded by Samantha Sheehan in 2009 where she was originally inspired by the classics, Burgundy and Champagne. POE is by no means intended to replicate these storied appellations but rather to turn focus to what the incredible terroir of California can do, to focus on vineyard specific, age worthy wines that push the boundaries of how land can be cultivated and expressed. Opting for minimal intervention and never falling on additives as filler, Sheehan produces very limited quantities available each year. This alluring Pinot Meunier comes from the Van der Kamp vineyard located at the very top of Sonoma Mountain and is possibly the oldest planting of Pinot still producing. Grapes are handpicked, fermented using native yeasts and gently foot tred two to three times per day. The wine is aged on its lees for 12 months in new and neutral French Oak before being bottles unfined and unfiltered. A touch on the lighter side, the wine offers up a complex bouquet of bitter cherry, cassis, wood smoke and espresso. Notes of cedar and spice fill out the medium-full body without overpowering, everything is in balance here and the results are a complex wine that still manages to be light on its feet without sacrificing intensity or concentration of flavor.
St. Stephen: Buttery, silky triple-creme cow's milk cheese
McBride Sisters Collection Central Coast Chardonnay 2019 ($) - “Break the rules. Drink the wine.” is pretty much all you need to know about theMcBride Sisters Collection. These two sisters found each other from opposite sides of the globe, defying all odds to come together in 2005 in California. Robin and Andrea, were raised in Montery, California and Marlborough, New Zealand, their shared passion for all things winemaking pushed them to start their own project. Overtime, Mcbride Sisters has grown into what is not only the largest Black-owned wine company in the US, but one of the most inclusive, accessible, socially aware and sustainable. Pale golden in color with aromas of lemon curd, honey and ripe pear welcome you to the soft, balanced texture with just a hint of toasted oak to balance the palate. Complex and full of character without weight, pair with herb salmon, Alfredo pasta or grilled portobello mushrooms.
Edith & Ida Chardonnay Mendocino Chardonnay 2017 ($$) - The Hobo Wine Company has an array of labels like Camp, Folk Machine, Make Work and Banyan. Despite these many ventures Hobo Wine Co is still a small family run operation by way of husband and wife team Lynn Wheeler and Kenny Likitprakong. The Edith & Ida line is helmed by Lynn Wheeler, with a focus on natural and organic wine, she has said her idea behind the project is “to make the best wine she can with the smallest environmental impact and cellar intervention as possible.” Hobo Wine Company also has many social initiatives which are fundamental to their winemaking philosophy, to give back to both the land and the community. These wines are ambitious, socially responsible, and true indicators of terroir. Planted in 1944, this Chardonnay is one of the oldest plantings in the state. The wine is refreshing and light on its feet with excellent structure and beautifully developed notes of stone fruit, citrus peel and green pear.
Glacier Blue: Decadent, fudgy tangy blue cheese
Duck Walk Blueberry Port ($) - New York's own Duck Walk Vineyards is located i Southampton, Long Island. This port style wine is made from hand picked wild mountain blueberries from Maine, giving it an intense fruit flavor.
Bertoux California Fine Brandy ($$) - This California brandy has it's roots right here in New York. The blend for this bottle was created as a collaboration between Fort Greene local Thomas Pastuszak, Executive Beverage Director of the NoMad, and Jeff Bell of the pioneering cocktail bar PDT. This brandy is specifically designed to shine in classic cocktails, with notes of orange marmalade, candied apricot, nutmeg and honeysuckle.
Afterglow: Funky, yeasty goat cheese washed in cherry beer —
Saint Vincent Methode Champenoise Rose NV ($) - Tasty and affordable, this sparkling rose from New Mexico could not be a better buy. Bright and fun, its jumps out of the glass with notes of tart strawberries, cherries, and flowers. The finish is dry but lush, with the perfect amount of acidity to make it refreshing. An absolute lifesaver when you're looking for an impressive bubbly on a budget.
Element Winery Blaufrankisch 2015 ($$) - Christopher Bates has spent over 25 years excelling in all aspects of the hospitality industry before returning to his roots in New York's Finger Lakes region. The 2015 Blaufrankisch captures both Bates' passion and the completely unique character of the vintage. It is dark, brooding, black and red fruit, with burnt herbs and minerals. Very delicious example of this grape in the Finger Lakes.