Everyday: I’m one of those people who likes rosé enough to drink it year-round. If more of the pink stuff was as delicious as the Michel Torino Calchaqui Valley Malbec Rosé 2011 ($13), everyone would be that way. There are gobs of lively, tasty cherry and strawberry flavors in this juicy delight. The mouthful is bright, the finish firm. Maybe it’s the high elevation: The grapes are grown at 1,700 meters (more than 5,500 feet), near where this winery also sources some yummy torrontés. Like most rosés, this one is seriously versatile at dinner, pairing with most any salad, vegetable or white-meat entree.
Occasion: Calling a wine “honest,” to me at least, means that it is true to its roots (literally) and shows no signs of the kind of additive/manipulation trickery that some of us like to call spoofulation. Year in and year out, Steltzner produces these kinds of wine, and the Steltzner Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 ($40) is a great example: hearty and just rich enough, spicy and dusty, supple on the palate and persistent on the finish. It was fabulous the other night with a peppery New York strip, but also would work with a burger or roasted winter vegetables in soup or solid form.