Everyday: Finally, people are starting to understand that the “real” stuff from Beaujolais is nothing like the bananarama Nouveau plonk. Wines like the 2012 Jean-Marc Burgaud Les Vignes de Thulon Beaujolais Village ($15) bring that home in a seriously tasty way. Juicy with hints of mint, this is a cherry-berry delight from the get-go, and a persistent pup as well. A clean and lovely red, it’s floral gamay at its near best, which means the food options are many and varied: roast chicken for sure, but also a fancy cheeseburger (yes, this is a Jucy Lucy wine) and anything with morels or other fresh mushrooms in it. Even (or especially) scallops. The dandy new duets disc from the redoubtable Van Morrison is the perfect accompaniment.
Occasion: Winter is only occasionally letting up hereabouts, so big ol’ hearty reds are still in season (as they always are at Chez Ward). My favorite recent discovery in the tall, dark and toothsome realm is the 2009 Marco Abella Clos Abella Priorat ($80), a blend of carignan (50 percent), grenache (39 percent) and cabernet sauvignon (11 percent) sourced from Priorat’s highest vineyard. It starts with big-ass berries and spices on the nose, and the fruit follows suit, perfectly ripe and rich and tugged along by firm but silky tannins through the surprisingly fresh finish. Game on at the dinner table, as in buffalo or venison — or some dry-aged beef, grilled or roasted or braised. Plop on some dark and stormy offerings from the late, super-great bluesman Son House and quaff away.