Labor-free wine

The best wines for Labor Day weekend.

click to enlarge WHISTLE WHILE YOU DON’T WORK: Enjoy the long weekend with a great glass of vino. - ECCODOMANI.COM
WHISTLE WHILE YOU DON’T WORK: Enjoy the long weekend with a great glass of vino.

This Labor Day weekend, you can start and finish the unofficial end to summer blissfully. Begin with the Friday exit strategy. Nothing gets a long weekend going better than a few added hours, so use stealth and strategy when walking out the back door of the office. Take care not to set off any alarms.

By the time the 5 o’clock whistle blows, your whistle will be wet by the refreshing and easy-drinking sips from a bottle of Ecco Domani Moscato.

Scenario: You leave your office early, get home after beating the traffic rush, open the fridge and pull out a bottle of Moscato. You pour, and finally, “Aaaahhh!”

Ecco Domani Moscato, with its sweet tropical fruity flavors, is refreshing and goes with almost any kind of snack. This includes a bag of Doritos® — the fiery habañero ones — which is a match sip-for-crunch with this varietal. The Ecco Domani is great with smoked fish spread, too, so stop by Ted Peters and get a container to take home. You’ve got time. You left the office early, remember?

Cooking out this weekend? If you plan on throwing some lobster tails, white fish or shrimp skewers on the grate, put a bottle of Portuguese Verdelho in your shopping cart. The “V” (sounds sexy) from Herdade do Esporão is perfect with its citrus and tropical fruit combination. You’ll taste nectarines, mango and a little passion fruit — told you it was sexy.

The carnivorous caveman will want North Star Columbia Valley Merlot to wash down those brontoburgers. It’s mainly Merlot but has a little Cabernet and Petit Verdot in it; all blended together in a fashion that makes the need for ketchup on a burger obsolete.

For those of us who like the ritual of cooking out but prefer the “gathered” food over the “hunted,” a bottle of red is still in play. Pop open some Peppoli Chianti Classico and get your grillmaster to fire it up and grill eggplant or zucchini.

Better yet, try grilled yucca. First you soften sliced yucca in boiling water, let it cool to room temperature before brushing on some olive oil. Throw the yucca on the grill until the outside is cooked dry and the grate lines are seared in, then sprinkle it with a little mojo sauce or garlic salt. WOW! Along with the Chianti, your flavor buds will ask for this combination again and again.

As the weekend winds down, I recommend giving it a quixotic ending. Nothing can do that better than a wine from Spain’s La Mancha region. Los Galanes, a white wine made from the Airen grape, is ideally priced and ideally suited for Florida’s hot, humid weather. At about $10 (or less), this wine is light and minerally with pear flavor that quenches the throat. It’s the type of wine to pour when you don’t want to cook and just want to heat up the long weekend’s leftovers or make homemade Cuban sandwiches.

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