2012 Artazuri Garnacha Rosado, Navarra, Spain ($11) — You’ll want to stock up on this delicious rosé as its one of my top pink picks from Spain. Packed with a fruit bowl of flavor from strawberry to spice, this dry-style wine with bright acidity is an all-purpose spring and summer sipper. Try it with barbeque ribs, fresh from-the-garden grilled vegetables, and aromatic Thai food. Made with the freshly pressed juice of red Garnacha grapes from Spain’s Navarra region, this pink is just plain fun to drink.
2010 Jim Barry “The Lodge Hill” Dry Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia ($22) — I call this a “secret weapon” wine because once you discover it, you’ll find yourself craving another bottle, introducing it to others, and pairing it with everything from cheese platters to Tuesday night take out. Riesling is often thought of as sweet, but this vibrant white is bone dry with a ping of lemon/lime freshness. Hailing from a bucolic spot in South Australia called the Clare Valley, the area’s high altitude vineyards and cooler climates allow for grapes to ripen slowly and maintain their zestiness. This wine by pioneering producer Jim Barry, whose iconic winery was founded in 1959, is a knock out. Ah…the secret’s out.
2011 Whiplash, California ($12) — The new vintage of Whiplash is a must-buy marrying class with affordability. A succulent blend of grapes, this full-bodied red with a plush texture delivers. Not only is the wine inside high quality, the newly designed label and packaging impresses. It showcases the image of a stallion named Whiplash whose spirit inspired the wine.
2012 Light Horse Chardonnay, California ($15) — This is the kind of Chardonnay you’ll want to sip from poolside to tableside. Expressing ripe fruit notes it also captures the brightness and lightness of Chardonnay. With just a kiss of oak to add complexity, this is a wine for enjoying alone or with a wide variety of dishes from salmon in a mustard sauce to soft cheese topped with spicy chutney. The brand belongs to Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, which has formed the Light Horse Foundation. A portion of all wine sales go to the foundation assisting high-risk individuals afflicted with autism. So, drink well and do good at the same time. I’ll toast to that.