Everyday: The 2010 Tudal Family Napa Sauvignon Blanc ($18) easily could qualify as an “occasion” wine, and not just because its price tag pushes up against my $20 line of demarcation. This baby provides a mouthful of deliciousness, with a pretty floral nose followed by gorgeous tropical and citrus fruit. The clean acidity provides enough oomph for an unusually long (especially for this varietal) finish. California sauvignon blanc simply does not get much better than this. Try it with shellfish or mollusks (most any preparation) or medium-spiced Mexican food.
Occasion: Had a buttload of delightful Washington wines last weekend, when a couple of dozen Evergreen State vintners were in town. The biggest revelation: the wines from Corliss. The 2007 Corliss Columbia Valley Bordeaux Blend is not cheap at $65, but it tastes like something twice or thrice the price (now say that phrase five times). It’s everything a hearty red should be: rich but elegant, biggish fruit and just-right tannins, one of those now-THIS-is-wine mouthfeels and a finish that can be measured in minutes rather than seconds. It was fabulous by itself but would cozy right up to a slab o’ beef or rack o’ lamb, not to mention a roaring fireplace.