Everyday: “You should try this one,” said one of my favorite wine-mongers, Lisa Impagliazzo of North Loop. “We call it the cocaine wine.” Thankfully she was not referring to the buzz that accompanied this rosé, since I had never taken a liking to that particular intoxicant back in the day. Actually the Coteaux du Vendomois Lieu-dit-Cocagne 2010 ($13) is a red-berry delight, lovely, lively and yummy. It has just the texture and weight I like in a rosé, lingering enticingly on the palate before a pure, clean finish. Best I can tell, this is my first encounter with the pineau d’Aunis grape, also known as chenin noir. I’ve yet to run across a Loire rosé I didn’t really like, and this continues the string. Oh, and the buzz is sweet and mellow; turns out Lisa’s moniker comes from the end of the wine’s name.
Occasion: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Buy every bottle of 2008 Oregon pinot noir that you can
afford get your grubby little paws on. Virtually every last one that I’ve tried has been delicious and built for aging — if you can keep your grubby little paws off of them. The St. Innocent Freedom Hill Pinot Noir 2008 ($42) is no exception, firm and friendly and focused, with the kind of earth/fruit amalgam that is a hallmark of that vintage. The tannins are still a touch tight — St. Innocent wines are famous for their longevity — but the finish is rich and vibrant. Like the rosé above, this is an absurdly versatile food wine, but salmon and baby-back ribs leap immediately to mind as particularly swell matches.