Everyday: Aside from the fact that really good rosés from southern France make me sad that I’m not quaffing them on premises, I love wines like the 2013 Domaine de Nizas Languedoc Rosé ($14). Brimming with life and boasting pristine fruit/acid balance, this syrah/grenache/mourvedre blend bounces between lush and lean on the palate, with a jolt of crispness on the finish. Sip it al fresco on the patio or serve it with virtually any Mediterranean dishes, from tapenade to souvlaki. Slip some smooth but spicy tunes from French actress/chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg on the CD player.
Occasion: Washington now rivals California in the quality, if not the quantity, of its Bordeaux-style blends, and almost certainly has the edge in value. It would be difficult, for example, to find a $48 Cali blend as fulfilling as the 2010 L’Ecole 41 Pepper Bridge Vineyard “Apogee.” Bursting with cocoa, herb and red/blue berry flavors, this robust beauty from the third-oldest winery in Walla Walla has spot-on tannins, soft but still grippy, and nice richness and roundness on the midpalate and finish. Beef or lamb kabobs and grilled portobellos will play well with this gem, as will the lively work of Mr. Sidney Bechet.