Everyday: If you buy just one bottle of the Samora Tejo 2010, you’ll almost certainly be remorseful. This is as delicious an $11 (often less) wine as I’ve encountered this year, and I wish there was about a case of it in the fridge. Let’s see, all it has going for it are wonderful aromas of white flowers and just-picked-off-the-tree lemon, lean and clean and refreshing flavors and just the right doses of acidity and minerality on the mid-palate and finish. I had never heard of the grape, fernÃ£o pires, and although I prefer its lesser-known name, Maria Gomes, I’m seeking more of it out. Bring on the shellfish and/or fresh greens.
Occasion: I’ve sampled two straight vintages of the Spring Valley Uriah, and my only question is: Why does this red blend from Washington cost just $50? It’s rich and deep and endless and has amazing purity for a wine with four grapes. Those would be all the Bordeaux grapes except the most ballyhooed, cabernet sauvignon: lots of merlot and cabernet franc, with smaller doses of petit verdot and malbec. The chewy dark fruits and spot-on tannins make the Walla Walla wowser a dandy match for grilled or roasted livestock or game, or just a plain ol’ burger.