Drinking

Five Well-Priced "Porch Wines" for Your Labor Day Soirée (Or Movies on the Couch)

A porch wine is a bit lighter, lower in alcohol and pairs well with the scent of charcoal and long weekends.
A porch wine is a bit lighter, lower in alcohol and pairs well with the scent of charcoal and long weekends. Photo by Ilinca Roman on Unsplash
Wine, for a variety of reasons, has a perception problem. Too many think it’s too snooty or too bougie for informal drinking. Which is foolish. If we can have beer by the pool and cocktails on the deck, why not wine on the porch, especially for the Labor Day weekend?

The ideal porch wine is especially relevant during a North Texas summer, even one that has seen more temperatures in 90s and fewer in the 100s. Why should wine-drinkers be deprived of the pleasure of a shaded porch and the hint of a breeze, feet propped up, and the aroma of charcoal in the air?

Know this about porch wine: It’s about lighter wines, red and white (and of course, rosé) that are lower in alcohol and that offer relief from the heat. The idea with a porch wine is to drink something that won’t make the sweat bead on your forehead, which heavy red wines with 14.5-percent alcohol can do.

These wines will get you started. And it’s OK to add an ice cube. Honest.
click to enlarge From the left: Flying Feet Red Blend, Scaia Rosé, Scaia White Blend, Marqués de Riscal Verdejo and Poema Brut Cava - JL GIGUIERE, SCAIA, MARQUÉS DE RISCAL, POEMA
From the left: Flying Feet Red Blend, Scaia Rosé, Scaia White Blend, Marqués de Riscal Verdejo and Poema Brut Cava
JL Giguiere, Scaia, Marqués de Riscal, Poema

Flying Feet, Red Blend

About $10, Central Market


This California red isn’t made much anymore, which is too bad. It’s about as porch-y as this kind of wine gets. That means tart, fruity (cherry?) and fresh — a pleasant and welcome combination given how heavy and overwhelming too much California red wine is. Drink this with burgers on the grill.

Scaia Rosé and White Blend

About $11, Jimmy’s Food Store

These two Italian wines are so well made at this price that it’s sometimes difficult to believe. The rosé is floral, dry, fruity (red berries) and very Italian in style, so a little more fruity than a French pink. The white is a weird blend of an Italian grape called garganega and the very un-Italian chardonnay. Somehow it works, with lots of tart green apple fruit and a clean and crisp finish. Plus, each wine has a glass cork. The rosé is perfect for a smoked pork shoulder, while the white is good with grilled seafood.

Marqués de Riscal Verdejo

About $10, Total Wine

This Spanish white made with the verdejo grape is clean and crisp, varietally correct (just enough lemon fruit) and simple but not stupid. It's not a life-changing wine, rather it's the kind of wine to drink on the porch on a hot Sunday afternoon when you don’t want to do anything but sit on the porch on a hot Sunday afternoon. Marinate chicken in olive oil, lemon, and garlic, grill and enjoy with the wine.


Poema Brut Cava

About $12, Spec’s
Spanish sparkling wine is called cava, costs about two-thirds less than Champagne, but is made using the same techniques, although usually different grapes. The Poema, with green apple and some citrus fruit, is a fine example of the style. It’s not too crisp, and the bubbles are fine and tiny. Serve well chilled and drink it on its own or with salads or small plates.
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Jeff Siegel
Contact: Jeff Siegel