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Toasting the start of the school year

Are you celebrating the start of the school year?

Well, relax and sip a floral, peachy 2009 Finca La Linda Torrontés ($11), a light, fairly priced white from Bodega Luigi Bosca in Argentina. Or be a little more ambitious: the 2007 Luigi Bosca Reserva Malbec ($21), which calls for whatever you're grilling before garaging the barbecue.

If your child has decided to major in Italian, then raise a glass of the 2007 Tenuta Rapitalà Nuar Nero d'Avola Pinot Nero ($16), dry red, spicy and smooth, from Sicily; or the refreshing 2009 Melini Rosé Toscana ($9). Both allow for an on-time tuition payment.

As steady as the academic calendar: the oak-aged 2007 Antinori Pèppoli Estate Chianti Classico ($27), a ripe and fruity sangiovese, with some merlot and syrah. And for an intense, plummy, dry, ruby-shaded red, try the full-bodied 2007 Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco Rosso ($23), a distinctive blend made with sagrantino, an underrepresented grape that's at home in Umbria.

After the sophomore-year announcement about studying abroad, uncork a hardworking, domestic alternative, the 2008 Dashe Cellars Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($24), a concentrated, balanced choice full of black fruit, with a trace of spice.

And, when you're happily informed that it's going to be a full scholarship, consider investing in an exceptional red: the 2006 Duckhorn Vineyards "The Discussion" Napa Valley Red Wine ($115). It's an elegant blend, mostly cabernet sauvignon, complex and harmonious, ripe with blackberry and black cherry, made with grapes from six vineyards.

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