Everyday: It snowed here the other day, which means it’s time for … white wine. In recent years, I have found that the lift and energy from vibrant whites, mostly from Europe, often suit me better than big-ass reds at the end of a wintry day. The 2015 Cecchi La Mora Maremma Vermentino ($10) is just such a wine, super-clean, full of life on the palate and smooth and savory on the finish. The sun-splashed fruit cocktail of flavors doesn’t hurt, either (not to mention the price). Of course this Italian white plays well with all manner of seafood, but roasted winter squash is an equally swell accompaniment (especially this one). And ooo baby baby, would some Smokey Robinson provide another perfect pairing.
Occasion: Autumn is also a great time for Spanish reds, the topic of my latest piece as the U.S. correspondent for the Spanish Wine Lover website. One of the best ones out there, year in and out, is the Remirez de Ganuza Rioja Reserva, a superb value at $52 for the current vintage (2009). A robust, rich nose, perfect melding of red fruit and earth and gobs of stuffing and structure are hallmarks of this gem. The finish seems to last for days. Grilled sausages, roasted lamb or beef and of course paella are splendid matches for this rustic but refined red. Ditto for the polished but rough-round-the-edges vocals of Linda Ronstadt.