Everyday: Some of the malbecs out of Cahors are not for the folks who love the Argentinian renditions. But the 2012 Georges Vigouroux Gouleyant Cahors ($12) will please them mightily while still hewing to its Old World origins. Inky and hearty, it offers up an array of flavors, especially dark fruit (blackberries!) and spice, with smoky, briery undertones. The tannins roll between grippy and soft, and the mouthfeel is firm but round, the finish earthy and fruity. The last of the cool-weather stews are far from the only ideal matchup: Go for roasted or grilled fowl and older cheeses. And listen to some older Creedence or some newer Foo-flavored Fogerty (studio or live) while savoring this down and dirty delight.
Occasion: I suppose there might be a better white blend coming out of California than the 2010 Chimney Rock Elevage Blanc ($35), and if you know of one, I’d certainly love to hear about it. Layered with all manner of fruit, not to mention lush and lean textures, this blend of sauvignon blanc and sauvignon gris is delicious now and, with its satiny tropical notes and just-right heft, figures to be just as swell a few years hence. The harmony of the grapes and the fruit itself with the other elements is amazing. Any preparation of a white meat (seafood, chicken, pork) will sing with this magical blend. The equally magical crystalline harmonies of three stupendous singers named Dolly, Linda and Emmylou provide the perfect soundtrack.