Everyday: We’re hanging on to summer here in Tundraland, but even when there’s a bit of a nip in the air, a refreshing white like the 2012 Domaine de Menard Cuvee Marine ($10) is a welcome delight. Gorgeous aromatics and clean crispness augment tasty citrus and stone-fruit flavors in this blend of 60 percent colombard and 20 percent each sauvignon and gros manseng. Like most whites from Gascony, this firm, friendly white plays well with all manner of seafood. Me, I’ll be sipping it on the deck, even as the yellow leaves tumble down.
Occasion: I don’t care what anyone says, I am drinking some fucking merlot. Especially if it’s as delicious and profound as the 2010 Leonetti Walla Walla Merlot ($72). Big and bold but supple and smooth, this mighty red is ample evidence of why many Washington wineries pour their cabernets before their merlots. Loaded with an array of red and darker fruit flavors and just-right acidity undergirding the plush texture, this baby lingers long on the palate. Pairing options range from slabs o’ meat to dark chocolate. Great sippin’ wine, too.