Everyday: For years, I have been hearing/reading that Chateau D’Esclans Cotes de Provence “Whispering Angel” ($19) is one of the world’s best rosés. Now I have seen for myself, sampling the 2013 and ’14 over the last two weeks. Both were delicious, fresh and gorgeous on the nose and palate, packed with red berry flavors but quite light on its feet. This blend of grenache, rolle (vermentino) and cinsault offers up a very Provencal combination of elegance and concentration. As a stellar rosé, it’s well suited for almost any food, or al fresco sipping, but pairing it with really fresh seafood and/or veggies seems like the optimum route. The soaring, searing vocals of Loreena McKennitt are just the right fit.
Occasion: Regular readers — yes, both of you — know about my ardor for the emergence of grapes strongly associated with the Old World in the New. The 2012 Forlorn Hope Que Saudade Verdelho ($24) is an extra-cool exemplar, with perfectly ripe green fruit (kiwi, Key lime) through the rich and bracing finish. This white gem is focused and precise, but rolls over the palate with both lush and lean textures. I’m toting this California delight to my next Friday night fish fry, and it also would cozy right up to a fresh salad with a mustardy vinaigrette. The seemingly timeless Boz Scaggs, who is also a Napa vintner, provides an apt soundtrack.