Everyday: Until the end of World War I, the Alto Adige region was part of Austria, and many folks there still speak German. So it’s no surprise that Hessian grapes find favor there. The Alois Lageder Muller Thurgau ($18) is a far cry from those spectacularly treacly Liebrfraumilches made with that grape back in the day, with fresh, ripe melony fruit and layers of minerally goodness washing over the palate. It even smells like it came from an Alpine meadow before the green-apple and sweetish citrus notes kick in. The finish is clean and spicy. Try it with lobster, grilled chicken and/or summer veggies, and chicken or cheese enchiladas.
Occasion: The red blends called Super Tuscans can be rich, profound delights but tend to be wallet-whompers. A more than reasonable domestic facsimile for $30 or less is the Trentadue Cuvee La Storia, a bright but intense blend of sangiovese, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and montepulciano. An array of red fruits, light and dark, roll through with wonderful undercurrents of earthiness and acidity. Those elements plus all that sangiovese make this a very versatile dinnertime wine, either during grilling or roasting/braising season. Or just with your favorite pizza.