Everyday: A few years back, I fell in love with Shaya’s verdejo, but until this month I hadn’t tasted the Spanish winery’s “second label.” Turns out the 2013 Bodegas Shaya Arindo Rueda Verdejo ($11) is just about as gorgeous as its big sister, with a flowery, citrusy nose and sharp lemon flavors at the outset melding beautifully with pineapple and melon notes. It’s a classic summer sipper, fresh and lively from vibrant start to ample finish. Reminiscent of the kind of great table wines that can be bought for a song in Spain, this is actually a U.S.-only product. Fresh or raw seafood are ideal accompaniments, and a picnic with fried chicken is an even better setting than our just-thawed-out decks. Plop on the sweet, summery sounds of Hui Aloha, and party on!
Occasion: Few wines are more enjoyable than a cabernet that’s both fresh and firm. The 2010 Dussak Family Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($36) also boasts a dandy dust/fruit amalgam throughout its smooth journey through the palate and beyond. The dark-red fruit is reflected in the wine’s inky color, and it’s easy to see why the 2010 is the current release: It’s ready to drink but tastes like something that has been in the cellar for the just-right amount of time. This Washington red has the acidity to cut through the fat in a grilled porterhouse but also would play well with a lamb, beef or portabello mushroom burger. The sturdy vocals of the eloquently plain-spoken James McMurtry provide an apt soundtrack.