Everyday: When we cork dorks use the word “lift,” we’re talking about wines like the 2010 Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Gris Les Princes Abbés ($18). It fairly soars in the mouth with a vibrancy that plays beautifully with the tropical and stone-fruit flavors. This is the very definition of minerality, and of the notion that wine is a living thing, all the way through the surprisingly smoky but still satiny finish. An optimum Easter wine for those who serve ham on that occasion, this lively white also would pair well with any preparation of trout, even smoked, or roast pork. Yum.
Occasion: In the style war that’s been raging in Barolo for a good while, the Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Cannubbio Barolo 2006 ($65) falls firmly on the traditional rather than the “modern” side. That doesn’t mean that it is not approachable at what, for nebbiolo at least, is a fairly young age (although I recently also sampled a ’96, and it was every bit as youthful). This is one of those wines that you could just sit and smell, deriving plenty of sensual pleasure from the floral, berry and other notes. But of course you should drink it and savor the firm mouthfeel and almost lush fruit. Lamb, hearty pasta dishes and roasted winter squash are among the suitable accompaniments.