Everyday: “Now this is sauvignon blanc,” I thought when I first sipped, and savored, the 2011 Cantina Terlano-Kellerei Terlan Winkl Sauvignon ($18). Racy and bracing but with soft pear and citrus fruit flavors and persistent minerality and acidity, it’s a truly sensual experience. I’ve long thought the pinot grigios from Alto Adige were Italy’s best, and maybe that’s also true of sauv blanc. Try it with seafood of all sports, rich or briny, and chicken quesadillas. And of course goat cheese.
Occasion: Domaine Serene’s Evenstad Reserve pinot noir was just named Wine Spectator’s third-best wine of 2013, and it been harder to find and often spender than usual ever since. But the winery’s “entry-level” offering, the 2010 Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvee Pinot Noir ($43) is pretty damn swell, too, and more affordable. It’s got a lovely, earthy amalgam of red berries, herbs and mushrooms with a touch of cola peeking through. Refined from start to long finish, this hearty red was made from roast chicken, grilled pork tenderloin and most anything with mushrooms.