The lazy, last weekends of summer call for easygoing wines and an active grill. These $8-to-$21 bottles suit the mood. They demand nothing and deliver value.
Ripe, round and versatile, the 2008 Conundrum ($21) suggests tropical fruit, plus peach and pear. The white blend complements seafood, chicken and pork.
The citrusy 2009 Clos du Bois North Coast Sauvignon Blanc ($12) is a match for shellfish and salads; and the slightly earthy 2008 Clos du Bois North Coast Pinot Noir ($15) does the same for grilled salmon and duck.
Ideal with beef and barbecue: the 2006 Andeluna Celebración ($20), a plummy, herbaceous cabernet sauvignon-merlot combo from Argentina. Chile contributes the bargain-priced 2009 Xplorador Carmenere and 2009 Xplorador Malbec ($8 each), fruity burger-and-steak reds. Viu Manent's Secreto series from Chile includes the bright, brisk 2009 Secreto de Viu Manent Sauvignon Blanc ($12) and fine, spicy 2008 Secreto de Viu Manent Carmenere ($12).
Bordeaux yields plenty of moderately priced wines; everything isn't Château Pétrus. Look for the 2006 Château Féret-Lambert Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge ($17) and the 2007 Château Penin Grand Selection Bordeaux Supérieur Merlot ($13), both good with lamb or beef.
For a sipper or with spicy Asian fare, there's the 2009 blüfeld Riesling ($11), a medium-sweet German white from the Mosel. Dry and refreshing: the floral 2009 Trapiche Torrontes ($8) from Argentina and the vibrant 2006 Hugel Pinot Gris Classic ($15) from Alsace, fine with lobster, turkey, chicken.
And, for something very different, consider Croft Pink ($20) a rosé Port, light, and satisfying on the rocks or in a cocktail.