Everyday: Italian whites are just flat-out rockin’ these days, and one of the best I’ve tasted is the 2011 Bibi Graetz Casamatta Bianco ($15). This is harmony in a glass, with brilliant fruit, minty elements and beams of minerally goodness dancing deftly together. There’s surprising richness and length, too. Graetz makes cult wines at his family estate just north of Florence, but this delicious white (90 percent vermentino and 10 percent moscato) is sourced from all over Tucany Bianco. Try it with picnic or patio food of all sorts. Along with the label, the name is pretty cool: Casamatta is Italian for “crazy house.
Occasion: I am a longtime fan of the Rocca Family Syrah, and so it makes sense that the 2009 Rocca Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($75) would be pretty doggone supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Bold and hearty, with firm, ripe tannins and gobs of tasty dark fruit, this is quintessential Napa cab. The spicy, supple finish goes on forever, and just the right amount of acidity keeps this big red from getting too dense. A nice, aged slab o’ beef, grilled till charred but still juicy, beckons.