While 2015 is my year of trying different California wines, there are times I just want to have a glass of what I call an “everyday wine,” that is, something that has already won over my tastebuds, something I can count on. Because, let’s face it: a  new wine could prove to be a disappointment.

Of course, my fave “everyday” wines were new experiences for me at one point in time. And as The Gazette’s wine critic pointed out recently in his column, even wines that come from the same batch can have different flavours because of the barrels they were stored in and the corks in the bottles, etc. So, a proven wine that usually tastes great might be a bit off once in a while. I guess no two bottles of wine deliver identical flavours.

Which is one of the reasons wine tasting is not an exact science, and is so very interesting.

Still, I know I can count on a few wines, most notably two Barefoot reds: the Zinfandel and the Shiraz. These days, i.e. tonight, I turn to the Shiraz for a small glass of wine after work. It is full-bodied with a rich taste, verging on dry.

But the Zinfandel is probably the more reliable of the two. I use the word “reliable” because the other night when my g/f and I went to the Steel Rail concert in Montreal, the small bar at the venue was selling Barefoot Zinfandel.

“You can’t go wrong with this one,” my g/f said.

“Yes, it’s very smooth,” I replied, after taking a sip from her glass. (I was the designated driver, so I couldn’t be ordering drinks.)

Indeed, it is almost neutral in terms of taste: there is really no lingering effects, whereas the Shiraz has more bite — and you either like it or you don’t.

The other one I look to as an “everyday wine” is Revolution’s Red. While not as rich as Barefoot’s Shiraz, it still delivers a strong flavour — far from neutral.

How about you? Which proven ones are your “everyday” vinos?

— Jillian