Weekday: Another year, another leap forward for pinot gris from Oregon. Most vintners there call it gris instead of grigio to connote a style that is more French than Italian. The 2014 Cardwell Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Gris ($16) could go either way but mostly stays right on Yummy Highway. It’s lush at the outset and firm on the midpalate and finish, with gorgeous tropical and citrus flavors and bracing minerality. Beyond delivering deliciousness, this winery deserves kudos for being über-green: a gravity-flow building with 33 huge windows to provide all the daytime light needed inside, Salmon Safe and LIVE certification and even conduits to recycle the spent lees back to the vineyard. Like the better Oregon pinot gris, this baby was made for salmon but also will play well with shrimp cocktail and spring salads. Plop on the inimitable, plaintively smooth vocals of Victoria Williams to complete a perfect setting.
Occasion: Some sauvignon blancs emit citrusy, grassy aromas; others lay on the tropical fruit; still others go the stone-fruit/white-flower route. The amazing 2014 Storm Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($24) offers up all of those notes, almost in a barrage. Then it delivers massive flavors, throwing in some melon to go with those other fruits, undergirded by just-right acidity. I discovered this wine on a recent trip to Santa Barbara and liked it so much that I ordered four bottles when I got home; not sure when I last bought that many bottles of a domestic white. This is rich enough to dance deftly with barbecued chicken or ribs. The incredibly rich, layered breakout album by the late, supremely great David Bowie provides the perfect soundtrack.