Everyday: You’ll always have me at “Vouvray,” no matter the dry/sweet level. But finding a fabulous one for $13 is a special treat. The 2010 Domaine de la Racauderie Vouvray boasts a fresh, minerally nose, seriously tasty citrus and stone fruit and a persistence wrought from snappy stony undertones. Grown in the same soil the Gautier family has farmed since the 17th century and aged in the same caves it has used since the early 19th century, this wine speaks a language I love: “Vouvray.” Try it with most any white meat, especially if herbs and/or a creamy sauce are involved.
Occasion: “Wow, that’s really smoky,” my way-better half declared upon first sipping the 2011 Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel ($30). It took me awhile to get to the smoke because of the waves of jammy, meaty, luscious flavors that were assaulting my palate. But as usual, she was right, as nicely integrated smokiness is among the many attributes of this bold red with just enough soft tannins. I was wishing I had put some bacon on the burgers we were enjoying with this, but it still was a smell match. Smoked meats of any sort and mild/medium-spiced Tex-Mex dishes should mosey right up to it as well.