Everyday: Spanish reds have been immensely popular for a good while, and it’s high time that country’s whites joined them. The El Perro Verde Rueda Verdejo ($15) is somehow both powerful and spritely, a juicy, spicy, fresh delight. An array of aromas matches the flavors: tropical fruits, citrusy herbs and gorgeous minerality. It’s lip-smacking and tongue-soothing, the very definition of great mouth feel, the firm but smooth finish immediately promting a yearning for more. Chicken, fish or pasta with lemony and/or herb-laden seasoning and soft cheeses are among the ideal pairings.
Occasion: Retail prices always have varied wildly on Turley’s zinfandels, always starting well above the winery’s prices. But it’s easier than ever to join the mailing list, and the winery has ramped up production (and retail availability) without sacrificing quality. The Turley California Juvenile Zinfandel ($25-$40) is a fabulous way to discern whether these hedonistic wines are in your wheelhouse. I love ’em, not only for the lush richness but also the focus and freshness. The 2010 Juvenile has red and dark fruit flavors and a massive but not overpowering mouth feel, with pepper and other spices at the end. Its crispness provides more options at the table, so not only baby backs but also lamb and duck play well with this young thing.