White wine is more versatile than ever, but certain wintry dishes demand food-friendly reds. You know what I’m talking about—a weeknight braise, Sunday pot roast, Christmas rib roast. I recently lucked into the 2004 Skyhawk Red Talon from Napa Valley (about $10-$12), a delicious blend of cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese, and syrah. I’ve already opened a couple of bottles, and found it to be not just politely friendly but downright chummy with beef stew and lamb shank as it struts its currant and plum fruitiness leavened with a touch of spice and vanilla. I’ll be uncorking more.

Photography: Michael Boone Photography