Labor Day 2020: Four Wines to Enhance a Barbecue

Labor Day 2020 Wine

As Labor Day 2020 comes our way, I think of a day spent with family and friends. On this day, Americans typically enjoy a barbeque with some wine. I think of red wine with this type of meal. To celebrate your Labor Day 2020, here are four Italian red wine suggestions to make your meal a better one.

Whether you barbeque steak, hamburgers, or ribs, any of these red wine suggestions complement your Labor Day cuisine.

This article focuses on several Italian Regions, including Trentino, Piedmont, and Tuscany. Although Trentino is known primarily for its whites and sparkling wines, it creates some lesser-known outstanding red wines. It goes without saying that Piedmont and Tuscany are known for their reds; Piedmont equates with Barbera and Tuscany, Sangiovese.

Labor Day 2020 Pinot Noir

If you are looking for a lighter red, Italian Pinot Noir fits the bill. Many of these wines come from northern Italy, either from Alto Adige or Trentino. Bottega Vinaia Pinot Noir 2017 is one of the wines produced by winemaker Anselmo Martini. His goal is to produce a wine from a group of outstanding vineyards in the Trentino region.

The Pinot Noir exhibits earthy aromas mixed with cherry. On the palate, I found bright, fruity flavors of strawberry and cherry. Ultimately, the wine is flavorful and pair well with pork.

Bottega Vinaia Pinot Noir
Bottega Vinaia Pinot Noir

Labor Day 2020 Barbera

Fontanafredda is a well-established winery since 1854 in the Langhe region of Piedmont. The vineyards are farmed both organically and sustainably. Fontanafredda is now the largest certified organic winery in Piedmont.

The Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera Piemonte DOC 2018 delivers the earthy qualities of tobacco and leather with dark fruit. One finds a fruity freshness in a well-blended wine hints at pepper on the finish.

Fontanafredda Bricctondo Piemonte Barbera
Fontanafredda Bricctondo Piemonte Barbera

Labor Day 2020 Sangiovese

Tuscany covers a broad area. From its northern tip near Genoa to its southern region just north of Rome, there are variations in style and character within the 41 DOCs and 11 DOCGs. The most notable regions include Chianti, Montalcino, and Montepulciano, but there are some lesser-known regions around the Maremma subregion.

Montecucco Sangiovese

The Montecucco DOCG is located in the province of Grosseto. In 2011, the region received its DOCG designation, making this a younger region. While most of this region produces organic and biodynamic wines, proving that the area is increasingly heading towards sustainable winemaking. Vibrant acidity, wines with medium to full-body, and a profile of dark fruits, tobacco, and spices characterize Sangiovese.

Podere Montale Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG displays aromas of cherry, pepper, and mineral. On the palate, earthy and smoky notes of tobacco and wood spice accentuate the flavors of cherry and hints of pepper.

Podere Montale Monteccucco Sangiovese
Podere Montale Monteccucco Sangiovese

Chianti Sangiovese

Chianti is the most famous and well-known of the Tuscan regions. Its popularity reflects in all the wines we see in stores from this region. The Chianti Classico DOCG represents the heart of Chianti winemaking and the most important Chianti subregion. The area was Italy’s first DOC in 1967 and elevated to DOCG in 1984. The DOCG rules require that for a wine to be a Chianti Classico, it must contain at least 80% Sangiovese and up to 20% of other grape varietals that include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Colorino, and Canaiolo.

Specific aging guidelines determine if the wine is classified as a Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva, or Chianti Classico Gran Selezione. Chianti Classico may be released on March 1st of the year after harvest. Riserva wines age for a minimum of two years, including three months of bottle aging, and the Gran Selezione wines age a minimum of 30 months with three months of bottle aging.

The Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG Famiglia Zingarelli 2015 combines 90% Sangiovese with 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Colorino. This Chianti is Rocca delle Macie’s flagship wine. The grapes come from four Rocca Delle Macie estates in the Castellina area. With the first sip of this wine, the characteristics remind one of a Cabernet Sauvignon. The small portion of Cabernet in this blend stands out. On the nose, aromas of earth and tobacco dominate. On the palate, the wine exhibits a rounded balance that showcases cherry and sour cherry flavors with hints of spicy pepper.

Finally, any of these wines offer a great complement to any Labor Day 2020 dinner.

Note: Common to the wine industry, this writer received hosted wine samples. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.