Everyday: It’s rare to find a middling albarino that makes it to these shores, but the best ones are exemplars of harmony and energy. The 2012 Bodegas La Cana Rias Baixas Albarino ($16) is just such a masterwork, with bracing minerality undergirding a whole lotta ripe peachy and tropical goodness. This Spanish gem has one of the longest finishes I’ve encountered in a white in a good while, and being able to savor it is a nice antidote to wanting to quickly gulp down some more. Pork and moderately spiced Asian dishes are among the better pairing options, but this baby also loves it some seafood.
Occasion: In much of the U.S. of A., the weather outside is ice-ful, so why shouldn’t what we’re imbibing inside reflect that? The 2008 Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine ($98/375 ml.) is one of those nectar-from-heaven deals, lush but with nice edges, its brilliant stone-fruit flavors lingering almost endlessly. This Canadian delight showcases the amazing versatility of ugni blanc (a parent of Vidal, with Seibel), which is also the main grape used in a markedly different after-dinner drink, Cognac. You’re welcome to serve this with most any dessert short of super-sugary ones (the wine should always be sweeter than the dessert) but I prefer to make it the dessert.