Everyday: If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone declare “I don’t like sweet wines,” I’d at the very least have a boatload of nickels. Thing is, most of these folks should just pluck down 10 bucks for the 2012 Clean Slate Mosel Riesling, then see how they feel. With an array of juicy fruit flavors (tropical, citrus, major peachiness), this off-dry gem starts and finishes strong. It also lives up to the name, with a clean glide across the palate undergirded by slate-like minerality. Try it with most any Thai, Indian or Vietnamese dishes. But do try it, especially if you “don’t like” the sweet stuff.
Occasion: I’m definitely partial to the Chiantis that come from the Rufina subregion, which tend to be dark yet soft, smooth yet vibrant. The 2009 Fattoria Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Riserva Vigneto Bucerchiale is an exemplary rendition, with yummy black-pepper-infused berry flavors and a sensuous midpalate feel, hanging around for an almost limitless finish. It might not transport you to Tuscany, but you can see it from there. It was delicious last night with applewood-grilled chicken and also would play beautifully with Tuscan staples from tomato sauce to porketta to bistecca fiorentina.