Everyday: I have had only a few wines from Slovenia, but if there are more like the 2012 Marjan Simcic Goriška Brda Sauvignonasse ($19), I dearly hope to get them into our regular rotation. This stirring, sensational white from just across the Italian border is loaded with flavor and energy, its citrusy zinginess tingling the midpalate and providing a sensuous finish. It’s the perfect salve for this wretched-beyond-words winter. The grape, btw, is not sauvignon anything but rather friulano. This zesty white will shine with all manner of seafood preparations, from rich to briny.
Occasion: It’s Interchangeable Picks Week here, with both wines costing about the same and suited for all occasions. They’re also made from too-rarely-seen grapes. I had never heard of grignolino until sipping, and savoring, the 2012 Heitz Napa Valley Grignolino ($22, only $19 if purchased from the winery) last week. It makes me admire Joe Heitz even more, because he insisted on continuing to make the varietal known in Italy as “the little strawberry” when planting cabernet on his prime Napa land would have made more financial sense. This is as clean as red wine gets, with its namesake red-berry flavors and a brisk but not brief finish. Chicken quesdaillas, herbed pork roast and soft cheeses would all make for swell accompaniments.