(StatePoint) Beat the heat this 4th of July and throughout summer with some delicious and refreshing celebration tips.

It’s all about keeping your cool when preparing and enjoying fun meals.

Cool, Crisp Wine

Stick with fresh and crisp white wines that complement lighter, warm weather fare. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are classic white wine varietals easily found at grocery stores.

Chardonnay, a medium bodied wine with notes of fresh melon and pineapple, makes an excellent pairing with BBQ chicken or richer seafood dishes, such as crab or salmon. A wine to try is St. Francis Sonoma County Chardonnay 2013, made from grapes handpicked in the cool of night to create a wine with delicate aromas, crisp acidity, and a rich, lingering finish.

For a lighter bodied wine, Sauvignon Blanc, with a highly aromatic fruit profile, is perfect for salads, sushi and fresh, young cheeses such as goat cheese. For your 4th of July picnic, consider grabbing a bottle of St. Francis Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc 2014 that features crisp flavors and aromas of citrus, kiwi, and mango with a touch of lime.

Chilled Dishes

In summer, the last place you want to be is in a hot, humid kitchen. The perfect solution is to make classic chilled dishes like fruit sorbets, tomato salsas, fresh green salads and seafood carpaccio.

For summer’s most refreshing meal, St. Francis Winery Chef Bryan Jones shares his recipe for Chilled Potato-Leek Soup with White Truffle Oil and Lemon. Pair with St. Francis Sonoma County 2013 Chardonnay or 2014 Sauvignon Blanc and serve with a light green salad and a baguette with goat cheese.


• 2 russet potatoes, diced

• 3 leeks

• 3 cloves garlic, chopped

• 3 tablespoons butter

• 4 cups water

• 1/2 cup heavy cream

• 2 teaspoons salt

• White truffle oil

• 1 lemon

• 4 chive strands

• Salt and white pepper to taste


• Trim off the green end of leeks, slice in half lengthwise and rinse. Dice leeks. Heat 3 tbsp of butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add leeks, garlic and 2 tsp salt.  Cook until leeks are soft but not brown, stirring occasionally. 

• Add diced potatoes to leeks and cover with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes fall apart. 

• Add cream, bring to a boil and remove from heat.  Let cool to almost room temperature. Purιe in a blender until texture is creamy. 

• Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Adjust seasoning and place in refrigerator to chill.

• Divide soup into bowls. Drizzle with a small amount of white truffle oil. Zest a small amount of lemon and sprinkle with chopped fresh chives. Enjoy.

For more wine paired recipes from Chef Bryan Jones, visit www.StFrancisWinery.com/culinary/recipes.

Celebrate the 4th this year with cool vibes, chilled food and crisp wines.

Photo Credit: (c) KieferPix - Shutterstock