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Finca de Arantei Albariño, Rias Baixas
From the sweet spot of Spain’s Albariño production in the country’s northwest comes this crisp, gently melony white that will work with anything from softshell crab to simple chicken dishes. And even after all these years, good Albariño is still astoundingly affordable.
Alma de Blanco Godello, Monterrei
From the still relatively unknown Monterrei D.O. in Spain’s northwest comes this Godello, a fruity, surprisingly linear wine that will complement everything from steamed shrimp and prawns to a big bowl of simple, summery clams.
Verget Pouilly Fuissé
Verget’s wines can sometimes be unjustifiable in the price department, especially this time of year. But this Pouilly Fuissé, from a classic vintage, is beyond easy to both love and justify its price tag. Not cheap, but worth the outlay for a special summertime occasion.
Thelema Sauvignon Blanc, Stellenbosch
Though Chenin Blanc–or Steen in local parlance–gets all the glamour, Sauvignon Blanc has really been shining lately in South Africa. This effort from the wildly delicious “Mint” Cabernet Sauvignon producers is all springtime aroma and a well-structured backbone. In other words, perfect right now.
Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
We’ve had excellent luck with Amarone, and this one is no exception. Its deep, rich fruit and unexpected spiciness scream out for sauce-slathered baby-backs.
Turkey Flat “Butcher’s Block Red,” Barossa
This classic Rhone-style blend of Shiraz, Grenache, and Mourvedre is custom-made for dry-herb-rubbed lamb chops. Or, frankly, just for sipping on its own. There’s a reason Turkey Flat has long been a favorite of The Wine School.
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Buil & Giné “Giné Giné,” Priorat
We’re still talking about that meal more than a year ago at the biker’s bar in Priorat: Three hours. Platter after platter of grilled, smoky, iron-rich meat. And wine like this, with minerality, structure, and, surprisingly, something almost pretty hovering in the background.
Ermitage du Pic St.-Loup, Coteaux du Languedoc
Step 1: Fry up some good bacon. Step 2: Grill up a burger and a sliced onion. Step 3: Open this wine and guzzle alongside dinner. C’est Magnifique.