Everyday: It’s almost criminal how few people are buying wines from Alsace in recent years. But the victims of these “crimes” are most assuredly the perpetrators themselves. The Wolfberger Alsace Pinot Blanc 2010 ($14) is a great introduction, racy and zesty, with crisp pear flavors and a sexy finish. The vibrant acidity both typifies a region that has been part of both Germany and France and makes it a seriously swell food wine. Trout or salmon, roast pork, rich cheese and anything with cabbage will mosey right up to this beauty.
Occasion: I have sampled less than a handful of syrahs from Italy, and all have been stellar, none more so than the Isole & Olena Collezione Collezione de Marchi Toscana Syrah ($50). This is as stately and elegant as syrah gets, beyond smooth, strikingly harmonious but still redolent of black and red fruit and black pepper. That full-bodied thing becomes evident soon enough, and silky tannins help make for a subtly glorious finish. We loved it with an array of pizzas, and can’t wait to try it with herb-laden roasted lamb.