Mornings With Gina Birch

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When thinking about what to share this week for Wine Wednesday, I could not stop thinking about the upcoming three day weekend. What would be the best wines for Labor Day Weekend?

Scrolling through my emails for some inspiration,  I came across one titled “War of Wines State Map.” Of course I had to read more. It was from Wisevoter. The organization is described as a bipartisan educational platform that analyzes America’s opinions and choices.

Apparently, they were intrigued with wine consumption across the United States. The organization turned their research tools to discover the most popular wines by state. Surprising to me, white wines are number one in 25 states. However,  red wine is not far behind. It rules supreme in 21 states. Rose brings up the rear with four states.  When it comes to those white wine winners, sauvignon blanc is the clear favorite. It tops the list in 16 states including Florida.

wine graphThe second most popular wine in Florida according to this report from Wise Voter  is cabernet sauvignon. Next up is chardonnay followed by rose.

Considering these stats for Florida wine drinkers. I’ve come up with a list of the best wines for Labor Day Weekend.

In addition, I deviated just a bit to add a couple that always seem to work well with grilling out. A favorite past time for the holiday. One of them is zinfandel. Earlier this year I went to San Francisco to attend ZinEX. It was a wine event and expo dedicated entirely to zinfandel and it was a blast. My teeth were purple for an entire week after tasting so many of these big, bold delicious wines.

Let’s take a look at Florida’s favorite wines and how they fit into Labor Day.

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Gamble Family

    It’s tropical, it’s zingy, and it’s great with the local cuisine. Those from New Zealand tend to be more acidic and herbaceous. Those from California lean to the fruit forward, citrus side. These are broad descriptions that don’t fit all the time but are generally good guidelines. While sauvignon blanc is also considered to be a more affordable wine, prices can vary.

    I’ve been drinking a lot of wines from Gamble Family lately and their sauv blanc is lovely. It’s a small production so you’ll have to seek it out but it’s worth it. It’s made to be more round than lean, more fruit than burning acid, and it is fantastic with food. $35

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    Sebastiani CabAh, cabernet. So much to say, so little time. It certainly is a fave when it comes to grilling steaks and burgers.

    I have a lot of high-end cabernet in my home wine storage. But not all occasion call for a big dog. Looking for a moderately priced cab, I came across a Sebastiani from 2018. The winery has released the 2019 now.

    That extra year has been nice on the wine. It has vanilla, dark berries and some cocoa and spice for a nice lift. Burgers and even pork shops all day with this one. $26

  • Chardonnay

    I typically don’t think of chardonnay when I think about grilling. But since it is the #3 most popular in Florida, I have to mention it. Some chardonnays are so big, they could indeed stand up to a juicy steak.
    Ancient PeaksAncient Peaks is a winery in that has a history of ranching as well as winemaking in Paso Robles, California. They do some pretty cool things if you have not discovered this winery yet. Their chardonnay is more balanced than buttery but still has that nice round mouthfeel. It has tropical fruits such as pineapple along with stone fruits. $20

  • Rose

    hogwashI’ve written a lot about rose. It’s such a versatile wine that thankfully more and more people are discovering. It can be made from almost any red grape, and from all over the world. That is one reason why it’s hard to pin down.

    Since we are talking about grilling for Labor Day, I can’t resist Hogwash Rose. From California, this wine is a juicy with fruits like strawberries and citrus. It also comes in sleek cans, both still and sparkling. It’s a party pleaser.

  • Zinfandel

    7 DeadlyZinfandel is a red wine that goes great with BBQ. The tend to be big, fruity, often higher in alcohol too so watch out. 7 Deadly Zins is easy to find and easy on the wallet, around $16. It’s spicy and jammy with dark fruits.

    On the other end of the spectrum is Mauritson Rockpile Ridge Zin which drinks a little more like a cab. The wine has layers of flavors that include dark fruit, dried herbs, roasted coffee, and more. It’s limited production, in the $50 range and worth it.

  • Malbec

    The is almost a no brainer when it comes to grilling. No one grills meat like the TrapicheArgentineans, so it would make sense they produce wines that match. Malbec is their flagship.

    Over the weekend I tired Trapiche Gran Medalla Malbec with some charcuterie and it was perfect. It had ripe fruit, not too tannic and a hint of smoke, in a good way. It’s in the $30 range but Trapiche makes a range of wines at all price points. They are good bets if you come across them.

  • At that Labor Day gathering, dont forget your sunscreen and this fabulous find

    Fabulous Find, The Best Sunscreen for Sun Lovers

    This week’s Fabulous Find, the best sunscreen for sun lovers, has literally saved my skin time after time. I’ve gotten great tans without burning. Just look at how brown I am, staring down a ridiculous watermelon filled with booze at a beach club on Mykonos, Greece. On this trip, I was in the sun constantly, for more than two weeks, and never got a sunburn.

    Sunscreen in France

    Beauty Counter sunscreen keeping me burn free in France

    I attribute it to Beauty Counter sunscreen. Although a few of the products can be found in Sephora, it’s a mostly direct to consumer brand.

    I also slathered this Fabulous Find all over me in Bonaire recently. And considering how much time I spent in the water, was still able to keep my skin mostly burn free which is pretty darn impressive.

    Why Beauty Counter

    What makes Beauty Counter so different is the brand’s commitment to skincare that’s free of a host of chemicals that can build up and effect our health. Take for instance the sunscreen. It’s not full of chemical fillers and it’s free from ingredients that could potentially damage coral reefs.

    Besides the “better for you” part of this sunscreen, I like how it feels. So many creams made for the face, still burn my face. Others are heavy and feel like they back my pours. But this Daily Sheer Defense is light, but still feels hydrating, and it has Vitamin E.

    But wait, there’s more. Beauty Counter is a brand with a mission. That mission is to change laws that govern some of the chemicals and ingredients used in beauty products to make them safer for consumers.

    I was introduced to Beauty Counter many years ago, and then it fell off my radar. However, I didn’t start using the sunscreen until I borrowed my sister-in-law’s. She now keeps me supplied.

    Oh and she passed on that right now there is a promo code for new customers to get 30% (CLEANFORALL30) and this weekend there is free shipping on all orders $50 and over if you want to try it out. I think you will love it.

    • Countersun Daily Sheer Defense for Face

      Sunscreen in Lisbon

      Sunscreen in Lisbon

      This is a face-saver. I don’t travel without it and often post photos of places to show my sister-in-law how great it is.

      This was from a July in Portugal, taking a breather in Lisbon to admire the sites and re-apply. A side note, Portugal is A-MAY-ZING. Lisbon is a vibrant city with so  much history. And the beaches of the Algarve are breathtaking.

      This sunscreen is $46 but your face is worth it, no more fake, harmful chemicals. It’s hydrating and does not burn after  long day.

    • Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick

      This stick is great if you are golfing or involved in an activity where you don’t want to get lotion on yoBeauty Counter Face Stickur hands. In addition, if you have kids that fight the lotion, they seem to like using this a little more.

      It gives them a little independence. This is also choice for travel, easy to throw in any bag. Only $23 it lasts a long time.

    • Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

      Beauty Counter sunscreen

      Beauty Counter sunscreen

      I only meant to share my love of the face sunscreen but I can’t stop now. This suntan lotion feels rich and nourishing rather than sticky and tacky.

      I feel like my skin can actually breathe when I wear this and best of all, it works great. Water-resistant for up to 40 minutes a little goes a long way.

    • Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist

      Beauty Counter mist sunscreen

      Beauty Counter mist sunscreen

      I have friends who don’t want to touch lotion, they are sunscreen spray devotees. If that is you, here ya’ go.

      Yep, I have one of these in my bags too. Never know what I’m know what I’m in the mood for.