Oh, Pinot Noir, you can be so vexing. Or perhaps I should restate it this way: Oh, makers of Pinot Noir, some of you can be so vexing. The popularity of the varietal makes for some bad examples. We don’t need any more bad wine. We don’t need overly fruity, sweet Pinot Noir. We need more elegant, complex Pinot Noir. It’s a particular grape, and needs care, not mass production.

Now I write the above with full knowledge and recognition that some people like the type of Pinot Noir that I don’t, and that’s fine. I’m not a wine snob, and I don’t get a kick out of dropping names. I drink what I like, and you should, too. But I do recommend against limiting your palate.

A week or so ago I opened a Pinot Noir that I appreciated, and you can read about it here. If you are persuaded to try it, write and let me know what you think.

The Fourth of July is around the corner, and the menus are being planned. We’ll be doing a pork shoulder low and slow with wood and charcoal … and will have pulled pork sandwiches for the holiday. Along with Craig Claiborne’s baked beans, German potato salad, and a watermelon salad. Click this link for the watermelon salad recipe.

Todd and absinthe in Prague

You need la fée verte …

Wines? Oh, there’ll be a Riesling in a the mix, and some cava, as well. A Pinot Noir is not out of the question, and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon has been promised by one young woman who will be at the party. I imagine Todd will be making a fine cocktail or two, and we might even be treated to some absinthe.

I’d be remiss if I did not mention a certain Fußball tournament going on right now in Russia. It’s the 2017 Confederations Cup, and Die Mannschaft plays on Sunday in the final against Chile. It kicks off at 2 p.m. EST, so turn the match on and enjoy. (Yesterday, the German U21 team beat Spain in the final of the U21 European Championships, in Poland. Deutschland über alles.)

However you choose to celebrate, relish the long weekend, hug your friends and family, and share your table with people you love.