Everyday: For me, torrontes is a lot like viognier. Sometimes its perfume-y aromas are too much, and even bleed over onto the palate. But when it’s made right, it’s sublime. The 2013 Bodega Vistalba Tomero Mendoza Torrontes ($14) offers up lovely white flowers on the nose (in just the right dose) and a melange of tasty fruit (peach, kiwi and more) on the palate. It’s uncommonly balanced for a torrontes, and quite persistent. Can’t wait to try to with some shrimp cocktail, ceviche or mussels with an Asian sauce. The warm, cool reggae of Gregory Isaacs would fit right in.
Occasion: I loves me some Sauternes but find the well-into-triple-digits price tag of Chateau d’Yquem more than a little daunting. The Chateau Rieussec Sauternes checks in at a still-formidable $82, but man-oh-man is it stupendously delicious. Honey and super-ripe dates make for a flavor nirvana, and the underlying structure is almost bracing. Plus, it’s nigh onto endless. This might be best on its own, but it certainly would play well with fruity and/or sugary desserts. And one of the prettiest voices extant, that of Ms. Rosanne Cash.