Everyday: Jed Steele has come a long way since emerging as the guy who concocted America’s top-selling chardonnay, K-J Vintner’s Reserve. He now makes tasty, often nervy wines for Shooting Star and Steele, among them the delicious Steele Cabernet Franc Rosé 2010 ($14). There is just enough spice and acidity to complement the surprising tropical and not-so-surprising earthy elements of this pink delight. It’s my favorite 2010 domestic rosé, although sadly I have yet to try each and every one of them. Anything short of braised or grilled beef should pair well with this wine.
Occasion: It’s cab franc week here at Decant This! — and far be it from me to leave Lang & Reed out of the mix. Owner/winemaker John Skupny is one of my favorite people in the biz, smart and friendly and sporting the most oft-used smile muscles in all of Napa. The Lang & Reed Two-Fourteen 2008 ($40) has classic dried-herb and cherry flavors and is fleshy without approaching flabby. It can be hard to find, but there are two swell options: Go to the website or opt for Lang & Reed’s more readily available North Coast Cab Franc ($24). Either is a great option with grilled lamb or veggies, a fresh-herb frittata or some stinky cheese.