Everyday: The notion that California can’t produce excellent $10 wines is put to the lie with every vintage of the Line 39 Lake County Sauvignon Blanc. Lush and lean textures playfully duke it out as the gorgeous citrus and spice flavors persist through the clean finish. There’s surprising depth and length and focus here. It’s the perfect springtime refresher and goes with the foods of the season: green salads with or without protein, light chicken and pork dishes and most any preparation of fruits of the sea.
Occasion: Sampling a bunch of wines at one time is a flawed exercise, if only because those with more subtle pleasures don’t get a far shake in the pour-sniff-sip-spit-dump routine. So I’m glad we actually drank the 2011 Two Shepherds Russian River Valley Syrah/Mourvedre ($38) the way normal people do. Once it opened up, the refined intensity of this superb blend shined through, the dark red fruit lingering languorously on the palate. I’d be fine with roasted chicken or quesadillas or some grilled sausages sharing a table with this beauty.