Weeknight: I am bound and determined to finally get to New York’s Finger Lakes region this year, and wines such as the 2013 Dr. Konstantin Frank Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling ($15) are a big reason why. Lip-smacking fruit and acidity almost assault the palate. This is one of those wines that has a complex nose (white flowers, pear) and ample flavors (peach, green apple) that don’t quite square up, but who cares with such a delicious offering? It belongs on the wine list of every Thai or Vietnamese restaurant in the country, and if the eatery’s playlist included the sweet, crystalline songs of Allison Krauss, all the better.
Occasion: I loves me some cab franc, and one of the best domestic renditions I’ve sampled in a loooooong time is the 2010 Hearst Ranch “Lone Tree” Cabernet Franc ($36). It’s got a little more coffee and cocoa than most cab francs, but plenty of the signature green-herb and black-olive thing going on. It’s also perhaps the smoothest iteration, from start to sizable finish, I’ve encountered. Herby roasted chicken or pork provide perfect pairing options, as does a mushroom- and/or olive-laden pizza or pasta. The Neville Brothers‘ combination of earthy, funkified sound and Aaron Neville’s seriously silky vocals are just the ticket for a soundtrack.