Cocktails, beer and summer punches abound when folks take to the grills on Independence Day. Enjoy some great national dish ideas as part of your Fourth of July menu with varietal pairings that will raise the bar on your barbeque and fireworks.

Key West Shrimp Tacos

Summer time isn’t complete without at least one key lime dish. Skip the pie this summer, and harness the natural flavor profile of the most famous fruit of the most southern point in the States. Key West shrimp tacos are a light, fresh and flavorful way to get some surf with your turf this Fourth of July. Topped with a fruity, spicy salsa (which has California’s favorite fruit, avocado), these tacos will tide guests over while the ribs are grilling up.

Play off the fruits and temper the spice on this dish with a sweet Riesling. The mango in the salsa and the saltiness of the shrimp will appreciate a milder white wine that won’t overload the taste buds off the bat.

Memphis-Style Baby Back Ribs

Wet sauce? Dry rub? Memphis does ‘em both. Tender, slow cooked baby back ribs are the quintessential main course for your Independence Day gathering. These babies do best on a wood-chip grill, but don’t let that stop you if you don’t have the patio space. This Williams-Sonoma recipe is sure to delight your guests with a finger-licking sweet, tangy and savory spice blend.

I know what you’re thinking: what wine do you drink with ribs? With all that spice and flavor, don’t try to compete with ribs; they’re sure to take center stage. Instead, opt for a muted sauvignon blanc that will be a refreshing palette cleanser to allow guests to enjoy all your scrumptious side dishes. 

Long Island Potato Salad

The most competitive industry in New York just might be the corner deli. Lucky for them, potato salad is something of an Independence Day institution. While hardly American, potato salad is a wonderfully cool dish to serve at a hot summer shindig. This hearty, chunky version pays homage to our fellow Americans on the east coast, with the refreshing parsley, aromatic mustard and tangy vinegar…not to mention, some serious mayonnaise.

Potato salad is a strange one to pair with wine, but with it’s neutral effect and rich, carby goodness, a red zinfandel will do you proud. Sturdy enough to contrast the brine and vinegar with the berry notes, it’ll pack a sweet punch to balance out this must-have side dish. 

Mason Jar Peach Pies

We know what you’re thinking: what about the apple pie? Take a page out of our party planning book and subvert expectations a small but noticeable way, especially on a holiday with a cliché menu. Personalize the pie for your party-goers with this adorable miniature and put Georgia on their mind. Sweet apples, richly caramelized in a flaky, buttery crust is an individual firework for each indulgent soul. Dessert for Two has an involved, but rewarding recipe that is worth a little extra effort to show your guests who’s boss of the barbeque.

At the end of the night, it’s time for a rich red to go sweetly along with this patriotic dessert. Carry it home with a pinot noir that you can sip while the sky explodes with celebration. 

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