Everyday: I used to call St. Patrick’s Day “National Booze Day,” but I’m about convinced that it’s time to switch that designation to Super Bowl Sunday. (Exhibit A: the day after’s bevy of people calling in “sick.”). One way to lessen the impact is to reduce the alcohol, but that’s not the only reason a wine like the Santi Montedoro Moscato ($12) is such a crowd-pleaser. The array of fruit flavors, especially tropical and tangerine notes, and the harmony with just-right acidity are every bit as enticing as the low (10.5-percent) alcohol. This vivacious white also plays beautifully with the spicy, salty foods at Super Bowl fÃªtes, from wings and guac to fruit and nuts.
Occasion: Kendall-Jackson is best known for its wildly popular Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, but I’m a bigger fan of the winery’s excellent array of cabernets. The 2008 Kendall-Jackson Jackson Hills Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($42) has it all: big and rich fruit, big and supple tannins, a big and bold finish. It’s focused and persistent, one of my favorite combinations, and from one of my favorite non-Napa cab regions. Try it with red meat cooked any ol’ way, especially braised or grilled, or hearty wintry soups.