What’s in a name? Sometimes, quite a lot, especially when seen through the benign lens of sentiment. By the time you read this, April, which is not the “cruellest month,” will be upon us and the morning mercury will be edging upward, coaxing forth the crocuses and daffodils. But in the last several days, dawn has come to where I live in Connecticut accompanied by temperatures in the teens and twenties. March has entered clad in its traditional lion’s mane.

I feel especially grateful, therefore, that duty called me and a handful of colleagues to Palm...

What’s in a name? Sometimes, quite a lot, especially when seen through the benign lens of sentiment. By the time you read this, April, which is not the “cruellest month,” will be upon us and the morning mercury will be edging upward, coaxing forth the crocuses and daffodils. But in the last several days, dawn has come to where I live in Connecticut accompanied by temperatures in the teens and twenties. March has entered clad in its traditional lion’s mane.

I feel especially grateful, therefore, that duty called me and a handful of colleagues to Palm Beach, just as February gave way to March, on behalf of the New Criterion, the magazine I edit, and Encounter Books, the other phalanx in my campaign for world conquest. Dawn is arriving in the high 60s and the days progress to the high 70s. Blue skies, periodic showers that freshen the verdure and intelligent governance from Ron DeSantis: no wonder they call it paradise.

I am not the only person to have discovered this. Thanks to the unstinting efforts of such star real-estate brokers as Bill de Blasio, Andrew Cuomo and Ned Lamont, rational people across the country are flocking to meccas like Florida and Texas where the spirits are high, the taxes are low and the nanny state is on life support. I’ve been in Palm Beach for five days. I’ve been to twice that many events and have yet to see anyone show up accoutered in a Fauci-approved badge of submission. Masks are strictly optional in Palm Beach and no one I have seen has opted in.

They do, however, opt into some good wine, and I thought I would provide a quick tour of some of the wines I have sampled these past few days in pursuit of the good, the true and the beautiful. Let me start with one of the loveliest Sancerres I have tasted, the 2020 Sancerre “Le Paradis” from Jean-Marie Reverdy & Fils. Attentive readers will nod at its name, grateful that I finally got around to fulfilling the expectation of my first sentence. If Sauvignon Blanc has a fault, its is a tendency to citrusy tartness. “Le Paradis” is fresh and refreshing but not astringent. Indeed, it complements a delicate bite with a modestly blooming fullness laced with lingering hints of vanilla. Delightful. You can pick it up for under $30 and you will be glad you did. I recommend arranging to drink it as I did, over dinner with a group of friends at a beautiful house right on the Atlantic.

As that evening progressed, we moved from paradise to serenity or, to speak accurately, to the 2018 Pinot Noir Domaine Serene “Yamhill Cuvée” from Willamette Valley in Oregon. This is a well-made, herbaceous Pinot, dark and aromatic, the perfect accompanist to the beef filet we were served as the waves rolled in just after sunset. You should be able to pick it up for about $55 a bottle — not cheap, but no one wants to be cheap in Palm Beach.

A media luncheon we hosted brought together more than a dozen old friends, a couple of new ones and two vinous companions in arms that I have, or at least should have, written about before: the 2020 Pouilly-Fuissé from Louis Latour — a reliable assistant to many endeavors — and the 2020 Gevrey-Chambertin “Clos Prieur” from Frédéric Esmonin. Both clock in at about $30 to $35 and are stalwart, unfussy, biddable wines.

Finally, I’d like to mention another luncheon guest, the 2020 Château Romassan, a Domaines Ott wine from Bandol, one of my favorite bits of Provence. This delightful rosé, a blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, is part of group of vineyards founded in 1912 by an Alsatian engineer called Marcel Ott. The properties are owned and managed today by Champagne Louis Roederer. I had never had this wine, so I looked it up and was a little surprised to see that several reviewers described it as “serious.” Thinking back, I can see why you would say that, but “scrumptious” seems to me to come closer to the heart of the matter. It’s a lovely wine, floral but not at all cloying, and it can be yours for about $55. Perhaps it’s the serious price that suggested the adjective “serious.”

This article was originally published in The Spectator’s April 2022 World edition.