Weeknight: The 2011 Masseria Li Veli Valle d’Itria Verdeca ($18) is my first verdeca, and I certainly hope it won’t be my last. Fantastic florals and an array of stone and tropical fruits provide plenty of punch. There’s lots of lushness battling it out with minerality; the winner: our palates. The finish is long and seriously refreshing. The Masseria Li Veli winery has undertaken the task of resuscitating grapes that have almost disappeared, and this is a stellar effort toward that end. It rocked with shrimp scampi the other night, and probably would play well with most any seafood or fowl dish. The amazing Annie Lennox, who flat-out crushed it with Hozier at the Grammys, provides apt accompaniment
Occasion: The earthy red blends of Portugal are having a tough time catching on, but stalwart efforts such as the 2011 Quinta de Roriz Post Scriptum de Chrysea Douro ($25) can stand up to any reds at that price point in the world. Both juicy and dusty at the outset, this beauty has a swell rough-and-ready texture all the way through the very hearty finish. Dishes with North African spices such as cumin and coriander will rock with this red, which also is a stout match for burgers and meaty pizza. For the soundtrack, whether paying fantastic tribute to former bandmate or on a classic album, John Cale is spot-on.