Whether you're celebrating the 4th of July or you're looking for a great American wine for any day of the year, here are some sommelier recommendations.

 

America the Beautiful Wine Country

From the West Coast, through the Rocky Mountain region, the Great Lakes and the East Coast, the United States of America is a beautiful landscape of American Viticultural Areas (AVA) with fantastic tasting wine. American grapegrowers and winemakers make every style of wine imaginable. From lighter style white wines to big oaky Chardonnays; light bodied, earthy Pinot Noir to big monster Cabernet Sauvignon; in the USA there is a wine to please every palate. Whether you're looking for small, boutique, family-run winery very few people have heard of, or a large operation with a big name, you'll find it in the United States. Here are some of my top recommendations for celebrating American Independence Day or any day you want to drink up the great wines of the red, white and blue.

 

Brooks Winery, Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon

Not sure how to pronounce Willamette Valley? Well, it's Wil-LAM-mit, dammit! At least that's what the locals say! Brooks Winery is the living legacy of a Portland, Oregon native named Jimi Brooks. Although Jimi is no longer with us, his son, sister and life long friend honour him by being devoted to making holistic, biodynamic wines in the Willamette Valley. 

Brooks Amycas White Blend : inspired by the Noble wines of Alsace

Brooks Pinot Noir : healthy vines = better wines

 

Ehlers Estate, Napa Valley AVA, California

When you look at the E of their logo you'll see a heart. Not because they love making wines (although they do). The heart is a symbol of how the winery contributes to the heart. Literally. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Ehlers Estate wines are returned to the LeDucq Foundation in support of international cardiovascular research. 

Ehlers Estate Merlot : the Merlot for Cabernet drinkers!

 

Hobo Wine Company, Santa Rosa, California

You won't find any estate bottled wines from Hobo Wine Company. Owner Kenny Likitprakong, doesn't have vineyards and doesn't have a winery. He's a hobo winemaker. A winemaker that makes excellent wines all over California. 

Hobo Dry Creek Zinfandel : representing the Dry Creek Valley AVA

Banyan Gewurztraminer : the wine for Southeast Asian cuisine

 

Trust Cellars, Walla Walla, Washington

"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." - Geothe. This is the motto at Trust Cellars. Sometimes in wine, as in life, you need to take a leap of faith and trust. Trust me, this is great wine!

Trust Cellars Walla Walla Syrah : 92 Points from Wine Enthusiast

 

Fox Run Vineyards, Finger Lakes AVA, New York State

The camaraderie of the Finger Lakes region is second to none. Esprit de corps is not just something the winemakers of Finger Lakes AVA talk about. They live by the philosophy that if it benefits one winery, the region as a whole prospers, and they will do whatever it takes to help each other succeed. There are about 25 winemakers up and down Seneca Lake who regularly get together for potluck suppers and open forum discussions to determine what they can do to improve the quality and exposure of the region. Peter Bell, a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, who has been the winemaker at Fox Run Vineyards for 22 years. As one of the most experienced and certainly most respected winemakers in the region he has mentored about 20 different winemakers in the region who have made their own mark on the New York wine industry.

Fox Run Semi-Dry Riesling : zesty, complex, vegan-friendly

Fox Run Vineyards Cabernet Franc : Franc, the other Cabernet

 

J. Lohr Estates, Central Coast AVA, California

About 40 years ago, California's Central Coast was virtually unheard of in the wine industry. Not many wanted to take a chance on that region. Jerry Lohr was one of only a few early pioneers in winemaking in the Central Coast AVA. Jerry planted his first vines in 1972. Today the winery is still family owned and operated.

J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot : Merlot is back on top!

 

Take a chance on an American wine you haven't tried before. Try searching "United States" in the Wine Category of JustWine and see what comes up. Read the reviews of other people who have tried the wines as well as the reviews of sommeliers and wine critics. Rate your own wines and start your own collection of wines from the United States. Wine is all about discovery and enjoyment. 

 

Thirsty for more info on American Wines?

Christophe Hedges (Hedges Winery, Washington)

Lewis-Clark Valley Named Newest American Viticultural Area (AVA)

 

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