Everyday: I have really wanted to embrace Chilean wines for years, but the stuff I’ve tried simply hasn’t warranted it. Well, say hello to my lil’ friend, the 2013 Santa Ema “Amplus” Leyda Sauvignon Blanc ($15), an exuberant and absolutely delicious offering. There’s a nice firmness and freshness to the nose, and the citrus flavors add to the brisk, mouth-watering acidity. I mentioned in a previous post that this was an amazing pairing with peanut butter, but more traditional options include chicken salad, shrimp cocktail and of course Chilean sea bass. For musical accompaniment, some early Bette Midler seems like just the ticket.
Occasion: One of these years, consumers will flock to California syrah, but in the meantime there’s more for those of us who love the better renditions. My most recent find is the 2010 Red Car Fort Ross-Seaview Syrah ($47), proof positive that coastal syrah can be as mystical as coastal pinot noir. Like its best peers, this hearty red has ample minerality to go with black and blue fruit flavors, and is about as rocky and harmonious as the best Northern Rhone counterparts. This played beautifully with a brisket/BLT with harissa sandwich, and is certain to cozy up to braised or roasted meat. Here’s how much I love this wine: It’s worthy of trotting out another artist who came to the fore in the early 1970s, Mr. Bruce Springsteen.