Everyday: A decade ago, crisp summer refreshers were a limited lot, but no more. Among the most delightful of recent arrivals are picpoul de pinets, grown very close to the Mediterranean Sea in the Coteaux du Languedoc region. Clean and refreshing, the Gaujal de Saint Bon Picpoul de Pinet ($12, often less) has that “limon” thing going on all the way through a long, lively finish. Most of the picpouls come from large co-ops, but this wine is made by a mother-daughter team, Simone and Virginie Gaujal. It’s the rare wine that plays well with fresh tomatoes, sings with most any seafood and vies with salads to see which has the most crispness.
Occasion: Joel Peterson built a formidable reputation over the decades at Ravenswood, and his son might prove to be an even better vintner. Morgan Twain Peterson’s Lacuna California Proprietary Red ($28) is a rich, gorgeously textured and flat-out delicious blend of syrah and petite sirah. There’s great harmony in the fruit, mineral/acid and tannins, with black fruit and white pepper occasionally coming to the fore. Many of the wines I recommend here are samples, but I bought this wine and then ordered more after tasting it. The Lacuna’s savory and herb-tinged elements make this a swell food wine for such a big boy. Besides sundry slabs of meat, I can personally recommend herb-roasted chicken and sweet potatoes as an apt pairing.