Everyday: In recent years, a wonderful array of Italian whites (Non-Pinot Grigio Division) has hit the market, but often at prices that push the envelope in the value vein. Not so the Vesevo Beneventano Falanghina 2010, which is way worth its $16 tariff. A muti-faceted nose leads to a spot-on balance of minerality and fruit, and the texture moves seamlessly from lean to lush and back again, with a nifty dry finish. Creamier foods such as crab and corn join lighter fish or fowl dishes as pairing possibilities; it certainly was delicious with Ina Garten’s tequila-lime chicken last night.
Occasion: It’s always a bit of a crapshoot to taste young red Burgundies, especially very young ones, but the Joseph Drouhin Pommard 2009 ($45) is an absolute delight. The cherry-berry flavors are bright and lively, with sharp focus and persistence, plus just enough grip and silkiness. It’s not a profound wine (yet), but very tasty and a nice harbinger of the vintage in that wondrous, and often frustrating, region. Whether because of improved techniques in the winery or the move toward biodynamic farming — or some of both — Drouhin has become a consistently reliable label at this price point. Bring on the roast chicken, summer soup or grilled zucchini and onions.