Everyday: Whenever someone asks about finding an inexpensive Sancerre, I send them away. Away from Sancerre, that is, to nearby Touraine. Every vintage I’ve had of the Jousselin et Fils Domaine du Rin du Bois Touraine Sauvignon ($11) has ben flat-out delicious, and for half the price of even the cheapest Sancerres. It’s got great lemon-lime flavors, beautiful harmony and surprising length. This firm and focused white shines by itself as an aperitif but also would sing with any lighter seafood offering, and will stand right up to a platter of fresh oysters.
Occasion: They’re still figuring out what grapes do best in many parts of Washington, but someone has sure found a swell site for, of all things, barbera. The 2012 Saviah Walla Walla Valley Dugger Creek Vineyard Barbera ($30) throws gobs of tasty red fruit and a bit of tingly spices at you right away, but there’s plenty of structure in the middle and end. It’s riper than most renditions from Piedmont, but is that such a bad thing? Certainly not when there’s this much depth of flavor and such an oomph-y finish. Bring out the roast chicken (or other fowl) or roasted root veggies.