The word "plonk," which was used to describe the cheapest wine available in a cafe, goes back at least to the first World War, and may have been an English corruption of the French "vin blanc" (white wine). We use plonk as a catch-all phrase for the modest but quality-oriented wines we drink on occasions that don't call for something fancier. Look for Plonk of the Month on the last Wednesday of the month (the next one runs in November). Each monthly column suggests five bottles to go with the season - heartier pours in fall and winter, sparklers when it's time to celebrate. You can find this year's lists at www.boston.com/food.