Everyday: If anybody in California rolls out better white wines than Navarro, I’d love to hear about it, stat. The Navarro Mendocino Chardonnay ($19) is smooth, seamless, succulent and stupendous. I’ve had three vintages, and all of them abide. It’s full-flavored, but in fruit (tropical, citrus) and not vanilla-y oak, vibrant and clean. The tropical and citrus fruits beam through from lovely start to ample finish. Yum. Can’t wait to try this with fried shrimp or fish or chicken, and it should rock with most any salad. The harmony on this gem brings to mind the Eagles’ gorgeous rendition of “Seven Bridges Road.”
Occasion: Ridge is justly renowned for its Monte Bello cab, one of the best wines to cone out of California year in and year out. But for a lot less money, the 2012 Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($50) also delivers the goods. It’s made in a mostly old-school side, with herbs dancing around the ample red fruit, some earthiness on the midpalate and a fascinatingly funky finish. This rustic beauty is actually elegant enough for roasted fowl, but it’s really cozy up to beef or lamb stew, not to mention braised or broiled renditions of those meats. The earthy, soulful Ted Hawkins is an even better pairing.