Everyday: Although I like it year-round, many consumers tend to treat rosé’s time o’ year as the converse of oyster season, drinking it solely in months that do not include an “r.” Too bad for them, because the Paul Jaboulet Aine Côtes du Rhône “Parallèle 45″ rosé ($13) is too refreshing to limit to any calendar restrictions. It smells like, well, roses (no relation!), and its fresh cherry-berry-watermelon flavors linger languidly on the palate. This pink beauty pairs splendidly with spring cuisine (greens, peas, ham), with light seafood and chicken dishes and with tapenades and other olive-laden food. And, truth be known, with oysters.
Occasion: There’s glorious wine coming out of Napa, although some of it tastes a bit manufactured. Not so the Chappellet Mountain Cuvee 2009, which produces/pleases well above its $32 price. Boasting almost as much depth and length as the winery’s consistently fine $49 Signature bottling, this Bordeaux blend delivers an array of flavors, with the fruit, tannins and acidity in perfect harmony and the texture smooth and just stout enough. If there’s a better $30-ish wine for grilled, herb-laden spring lamb — leg, chops, whatever — I’d love to hear about it. Steaks, burgers and chocolate (not too dark or white) are swell pairing options as well.