I always mean to recommend these affordable wines on Friday, when the info will be useful for the looming entertainment questions of the weekend, but what the hey. This time it's Monday. It's important to keep people on their toes, right?
2005 Calera Central Coast Chardonnay ($16) Calera makes some of the best Pinots in California, but this affordable white shows that Josh Jensen isn't just inspired by the world's most inspirational grape—good old workhorse Chard apparently brings out his talents, too. A scent of baked peach and slight oak spice—call it peach pie without the sweetness—leads into plump, appealing apricot fruit and firm acidity.
2005 Red Guitar Old Vine Tempranillo-Garnacha ($10) This plush blend from Navarra, in Spain, is packed with dark, sweet black cherry and plum fruit. Five months in new American oak gives it a hint of vanilla, but it's in no way overbearing. If you're grilling sausages or burgers, this one's a no-brainer.