Everyday: One of the cool things about the wine world is that you don’t have to know how to pronounce a grape, region or brand to love what’s in the bottle. Good thing, because the 2013 Tikves Rkaciteli Special Selection ($12) is a bit of a mouthful. Thankfully, it also provides a mouth full of fabulous flavor and texture. With a slightly sweet edge like another central European fave, kerner, this vibrant white from Macedonia is firm and focused, with layers of stone- and tropical-fruit flavors and refreshingly zesty acidity. The grape (pronounced “rkah-zee-tely,” dates back to 3000 BC, btw. Try it with fried or stir-fried dishes laden with fish, fowl and/or veggies. And the clean, crystalline pickin’ and singin’ of the late, great Doc Watson.
Occasion: Let’s make no bones about it: Bordeaux is hard, with its gazillion brands and oceans of uneven juice hitting these shores over the years. But finding a steller one at a more-than-fair price is one of the true delights of wine shopping. The 2011 Chateau Les Religieuses Saint-Emilion Grand Cru ($35) is just such a wine, lovely and hearty and bountiful and balanced. The start, midpalate and ample finish are all rustic but elegant, the texture earthy but silky. Yum. Bring on the roasted slabs or braised cheaper cuts of meat, or a winter vegetable stew, or, hell, a really good hamburger. And the stirring, sturdy breakout album from Mr. John Hiatt.