Labor Day: One Last Hoorah with Wine Pairings

Labor Day often conjures up bittersweet emotions. For those still in school, Labor Day marks  the end of summer vacation freedom and marks the beginning of slaving away with hours of studying. For those in love with sunshine & summertime, Labor Day indicates winter is on it’s way. And for those that love white jeans and seersuckers, well, it’s time to trade them in for darker colors and patterns.


Held the first Monday in September, Labor Day is an official federal holiday that pays tribute to the achievements and contributions of American workers. In the beginning, this holiday boasted parades, carnivals, and end of year hoorahs for workers and their families. While the parades and carnivals have since settled down, American workers still try to pack in one last summer vacation celebration during the long weekend.

One Labor Day tradition we’re big fans of is to throw the year’s last summer picnic. It’s the perfect last minute celebration if you can’t escape town or in need of a staycation. Throw on your white jeans, chow down on the comfort foods that evoke summer rays, and enjoy the last bottle of summer wine before hibernation wines take over shelves. Here are our top 3 summer picnic food & wine pairings for that last summer hoorah:


Food: Vietnamese salad rolls
Wine: Domäne Wachau 2015 “Federspiel” Grüner Veltliner, Ried Kollmitz

Cheers to all the summer travel taken, or to the summer travel merely dreamt of, with this pairing of two cultures and their fresh food and wine. Grüner Veltliner, from Austria, is the perfect match for the fresh herbs of the delicate Vietnamese salad rolls while still adding enough fruitiness to stand up to the delicious peanut sauce. While it is known for its hint of white pepper, this Grüner Veltliner has strong notes of lemon, white peach, pineapple, and pear to be light enough for your last picnic of summer.


Food: Grilled corn
Wine: Qupé 2015 "Y Block" Chardonnay

Grown with the California sunshine in Santa Barbara County, this Chardonnay simultaneously embraces the end of summer while helping our palate transition to fall flavors. A full but relaxed wine with hints of caramelized pear, oak, and brown sugar at the end will bring your grilled corn to life one last time. You’ll not only savor the grilled corn because it’s the last of the year but also because it just got that much better with this wine’s hint of butter.  


Food: Burgers
Wine: Domaine de la Mordorée 2015 "La Dame Rousse" Lirac

No summer picnic is complete without those homemade burgers. Enjoy your last summer-soaked burger with this red wine from Southern Rhône in France. This wine will hold your hand as you close your picnic basket for one last time this year as the 50% sun-loving Grenache grapes and 50% autumn-evoking Syrah grapes take your palate from summertime cranberry and rose petal to spicy and dry autumn flavors.

And it’s true, Google will tell you to put away the white wines, jeans, and coats, but let’s face it, we all love a chance to be rebels. So enjoy your “last summer picnic” on Labor Day weekend, but we know you’ll rock those white jeans again in a few weeks as you drink that white wine unapologetically.


Emily HigginbothamComment