I’ve seen a commercial where a man is sitting on a beach looking out on the horizon with an intense, thoughtful look as he eats a piece of candy, and a voice is heard saying, “Why can’t I wear white after Labor Day?”
Depending on your region, some Americans think the Labor Day holiday is the end of summer, even though it does not end until September 22. Those of us who live in the Southern Virginia/Northern North Carolina Piedmont region can enjoy warm weather barbecuing through most of October. And so, my friends, in this writer’s humble opinion, you can barbecue as long as the warm weather lasts (well past Labor Day). Whether you can wear white past Labor Day, I say do it, but stop before Halloween; you don’t want to be mistaken for someone wearing a ghost costume.
Now, while you are barbequing after Labor Day, what wines shall you enjoy? Note: it’s OK to have white wine after Labor Day, as well as Red and Rosé. During this warm weather, we probably still want lighter and crisper styles of wines we have been drinking since May. For grilled vegetables, seafood, and poultry, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Unoaked Chardonnay are tried-and-true favorites, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other whites like Chenin Blanc and Albarino or even sparkling Prosecco.
What about grilled meats like hamburgers, hotdogs, sausages, or ribeye steak? We want a red, but a red that is more on the lighter side rather than a robust Cabernet Sauvignon. Possibilities include Sangiovese (or Chianti) from Italy, Pinot Noir from California or Oregon, Cabernet Franc from France or Virginia, or a Tempranillo from Spain or California. Keep your red wine’s alcohol level around 13% to be light on your palate. You may wonder, is it OK to slightly chill a red wine during my barbeque? I say yes, even if it’s after Labor Day. Cheers!