With crisp pear, juicy apple, and minerality to spare, this dazzling French oak fermented chardonnay truly takes you into fall with flying autumnal colors. Sourced from select “Firepeak” blocks off the winery’s estate Edna Valley vineyard, this is the bright, complex chardonnay you should be bringing to Thanksgiving dinner (plus, its shimmering golden label adds a luxurious touch to the table). Serve alongside a pear tart for added “wow” factor and major bragging rights!
• Baileyana’s 2014 Firepeak Chardonnay—$28; 5838 Orcutt Road, San Luis Obispo.
Everybody loves a good zin! Why, might you ask? Bright, zesty, and spicy, this perky wine is always up for anything. Proof: I recently drank this versatile bottle while floating around an Ojai pool with a few gal pals in ... gasp ... broad daylight! While everyone else around us sipped on boring icy cocktails, we were living it up, Ancient Peaks style. Cool marine growing conditions means this zin offers “more elegance than bombacity,” sauntering between ripeness and restraint. Isn’t that what we all aim to do when on a trip with our most mischievous friends? Consider this your go-to “day red” for all occasions: light enough to stand alongside iced grapes and manchego cheese, but not so light that you forget you’re drinking it. Because really, who wants that?
• Ancient Peak’s 2014 Zinfandel—$18 a bottle; 22720 El Camino Real, Santa Margarita.
Hayley Thomas Cain is hanging poolside. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.