Weeknight: Can’t imagine that anyone is more ready for a patio sipper than we Minnesotans, and happily a new one has entered my realm. The 2012 Les Costieres de Pomerois Le Jade Picpoul de Pinet ($8) is a bit lusher than most picpouls but still delivers that bracing kick early and often, with the finish a layer of citrus/stone fruit and lovely acidity/minerality. Fruits of the sea, whether delivered in a brisk ceviche-like presentation or halibut with a buttery sauce, will sing with this white. Plop on the spritely, playful soundtrack to “Amelie” while quaffing this gem.
Occasion: Cabernets out of Washington just seem to get better and better. I can’t speak to previous vintages in this particular case, but the 2011 Mark Ryan “Dead Horse” Cabernet Sauvignon ($52) is simple stellar, if hardly simple. Rich and robust, this deep, dark red boasts great currant and red-berry flavors and great weight but also brings a silky sheen to the midplalate and finish. Beef fajitas, grilled Italian or Spanish sausages and minty lamb chops would be swell pairings, and check out the splendid new Aimee Mann-Ted Leo collaboration, the Both, as you savor this beauty.