Everyday: In summer we often take the “refresher” course, opting for a wine that provides immediate impact and pleasure and doesn’t try to be more than a simple pleasure. The 2013 Yali Rapel Valley Wetland Sauvignon Blanc ($10) is just such a wine, brisk and lively, with citrus and stone fruit flavors washing over the palate in waves. But it also has a touch of elegance, especially on the long, zesty finish. Shrimp cocktail was made for this day-brightener. but any shellfish or poultry dish will do. The sweet sounds and delightful complexity of early Joni Mitchell provide the perfect soundtrack.
Occasion: When people ask these days about my favorite red grape, I waffle between pinot noir and cabernet but often land on … mourvedre. Virtually every iteration of the latter I’ve tasted in recent years has been yummerific. Most recently the 2008 Three Wine Co. Spinelli Contra Costa Mataro ($26) hit the “wow” button. Deep, dark and dank, but with a lovely softness on the midplalate, this here-I-am red is enticing fr0m lusty nose through dusty finish. Such a meaty wine calls for a slab o’ protein, be it lamb, game or beef. And the basso profundo wonders of the National.