Everyday: It’s not exactly shocking that an Amercian rendition of gruner veltliner would have a riper profile than most of its Austrian counterparts. But it is surprising how minerally and focused the 2010 Zocker Edna Valley Paragon Vineyard Gruner Veltliner ($18) is. This vibrant white has some lemon-lime and pear flavors and just enough acidity to keep it from being too weighty. There’s nice grip on the finish, which is clean, lovely and long. Like most gruners, it’a good match with Asian dishes ranging from sushi to spicy stir-fries as well as green salads and smoked salmon or trout.
Occasion: Peter Kitchak’s timing for opening a high-end winery turned out to be less than fortuitous, but his 2006 Kitchak Cellars “Adagio” ($79) can hold its own with the better Napa red blends. Kitchak and cellar master Ralph Bashioum are sticklers for having the right percentages of varieties, and the 16-percent cabenrnet franc here provides an earthy spiciness that plays beautfully off classic cabernet sauvignon (48 percent) and merlot (31 percent) fruit, with a tannin-y kick from the petit verdot (5 percent). It’s almost zesty in mid-palate but hearty and just rich enough on the finish. Roasted meats (including chicken) and veggies would play beautifully with this classic blend. It’s most readily available from the winery.