Everyday: Spain remains a font of vinous value. The 2013 Venta Morales La Mancha Tempranillo checks in at around $7 and delivers nigh onto twice the value. The dark berry/plum fruit is tasty, the tannins spot on, the acidity and mouthfeel lip-smackin’ and the finish rustic and hearty. It’s a friendly wine and a simple pleasure, which often are the best kind of course, but quite versatile at the dinner/picnic table, starting with burgers, brats and most anything else off the barbie. The sturdy, straight-ahead rock of Franz Ferdinand provides apt accompaniment.
Occasion: Some wineries can do no wrong, even with wildly varying, often challenging vintages. A.J. Adam is one of them, and the 2012 A.J. Adam Dhroner Riesling ($30) is a stellar exemplar. The focus and purity on this puppy are downright stunning, the fruit/acid interplay alternately piercing and lush. It’s a muscular but refined white, a peerless example of how superb a “village” wine can be. Plop on the gorgeous pop of Mr. Brian Wilson and revel in life its own self.