Weeknight: A decade ago, it was exceedingly difficult to find a really good Italian white for $15. Certainly not anything as delicious and invigorating as the 2012 Anselmi San Vincenzo ($14), a blend of garganega (the Soave grape), chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. The nose is ripe and very fresh, with melon and spice notes that deliver on the palate as well. It’s heavy on the flavor but lean and clean on the finish. This wine was made for shellfish, especially shrimp on the barbie, and is a deft match for spring salads and veggies. The genre-meshing music and fresh vocals of Neko Case provide the ideal soundtrack.
Occasion: Late one night at the recent Wine Writers Symposium, attendees got a chance to sample almost a dozen Napa dessert wines. The resounding winner for me was the Honig Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc ($70). (The very tasty Beringer “Nightingale” was a semi-distant second.) Pure, penetrating and persistent, this wine offers up gorgeous florals, seriously yummy stone-fruit and tropical flavors and spot-on acidity. The finish is nigh onto endless. Besides playing well with most any sweet thing, especially those showcasing fruit, this beauty can mosey right up to a chunk of stinky blue cheese or serve as a stand-alone dessert. Throw in the stupendously sweet voice of Billie Holiday, and you’ve got quite the nightcap experience.