Everyday: I wouldn’t trade being a wine writer for anything, but sometimes it is a job. As when I recently sampled discount-store brands for a Strib article. Amidst rampant kissing of frogs, I found one particular delight: the 2012 Trader Joe’s California Sauvignon Blanc for 6 freaking dollars. Juicy and tasty, this is quintessential California juice, with gobs of green (lime/kiwi) fruit, a semi-sexy mouthfeel and a nice refreshing finish. Trot out some soft cheese or fish tacos for this lively lad. I can’t vouch for other designations of Trader Joe’s sauv blanc such as the Coastal, but this one is worth buying by the case.
Occasion: Many wine folks in my purview would never consider anything pink a suitable “occasion” wine. I’m guessing they never have been fortunate enough to sample the Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé ($36). We recently had the 2010 and 2012 with dinner, and both were exemplary: firm and flavorful, with fabulous fruit (mostly dark berries), medium body and a boundlessly delicious finish. Like all great French rosés, this one pairs well with almost everything, from fried or grilled chicken to burgers and brats to strawberries dotted with balsamic.