Everyday: Midsummer is indubitably vinho verde time. These ridiculously refreshing Portuguese whites (often green, as the name connotes) are just plain fun and low enough in alcohol for quaffing. The perennially delicious Broadbent Vinho Verde ($10.50, often less) clocks in at 9 percent alcohol and 100 percent vibrancy. A blend of typically obscure (to us) loureiro, trajadura and arinto, its crisp green-apple flavors and refreshing acidity make it the ideal picnic wine, but this bright white also loves most any kind of seafood and another seasonal favorite, pesto. Or just a patio and a chair.
Occasion: We’re also smack dab in the middle of barbecue time, and among the best accompaniments for a slab o’ ribs slathered with sauce is a peppery Aussie shiraz. The Two Hands “Gnarly Dudes” Shiraz ($29) actually has some grilled-meat flavors, along with blue and black fruits (plum sauce welcome). This is not a wimpy wine, but it’s not the kind of over-the-top jam-a-rama wine that gave Australia a bad name. It’s supple but intense (cellaring for winter is not a bad idea, either) and seriously hearty with a touch of elegance. The array of spices at the end make it suited for any type of charred meat, or as an after-dessert treat as darkness falls and the cooler temps kick in.