Everyday: Mazel tov! The Israelis are making some seriously good juice, especially in the cooler Golan Heights area. The Yarden Mount Hermon Golan Heights White ($12) is a layered blend with lush fruit and surprising complexity for the price. Lots of tropical fruit and melon here, plus depth and zest. It’s primarily made with sauvignon blanc, with chardonnay and semillon adding some character. Try it with all manner of seafood dishes “” including the Contessa’s roasted shrimp cocktail “” chicken or salad (or chicken salad). Or just in a warm room where you can pretend that it’s summer.
Occasion: There might be a better year-in-and-year-out $25 wine than the Bodegas Muga Reserva Rioja, but I have yet to find it. And I’ve been really trying :o. Rustic and elegant, with richness, earthiness and purity of fruit galore, the Spanish red is a delight from the evocative nose to the delicious finish. Pair it with Spanish sausages, jamon or other cured pork, or with a beef preparation such as hanger steak with mushroom and red wine sauce (using the Muga in the sauce, of course).