Everyday: All winter long, I have been loving me some chenin blanc, and now that it’s spring, well, there’s no slowing down. One of the best nonspendy options, year in and year out, is the Dry Creek Vineyard Clarksburg Dry Chenin Blanc ($12). Rife with citrus aromas and perhaps as tangerine-y flavors as any wine I’ve tried, this is a cool, crisp delight any time of year. No wine this inexpensive has any business providing the firm focus and long, smooth finish of this puppy. But hey, I’ll take it. Especially with Chinese or Thai food, barbecue or that ham that will be populating a lot of tables in the next little while.
Occasion: There’s minerally and then there’s flinty. The Henri Bourgeois “Les Baronnes” Sancerre ($28) hovers, or actually bounces, between the two, and is somehow chalky in midpalate and creamy at the end game. Lovely and lively, this zingy sauv blanc has signature lemon and grapefruit aromas and flavors, perfect fruit-acid balance and a wickedly cool finish. The Bourgeoises have been making wine for 10 generations in a region known for its goat cheese. That’s a fab pairing, but so are an array of appetizers, especially dips, plus the always-challenging artichoke, shellfish and lighter chicken dishes.