Everyday: Nothing has been more heartening to this Tundraland denizen than the steady parade of swell new offerings from Portugal to reach Flyover Land. The 2014 Portada Winemaker Selection Lisboa ($10-ish) starts off light and lively, with nice oomph on the midpalate and finish. A blend of antão vaz, roupeiro and Perrum (yeah, I’ve never heard of ’em, either), this brisk white is the essence of freshness, with citrus and green-apple flavors and just enough minerally goodness. Bring me some fish tacos or ceviche, or most anything with grilled or roasted corn in it. For the perfect soundtrack, check out the refreshing, vibrant but mellow tune-age of Bibo & Cigala.
Occasion: Most every Chianti I’ve sampled from the Rufina subregion (not to be confused with the Ruffino brand) has been very good to outstanding. The 2010 Selvapiana Bucerchiale Chianti Rufina Riserva ($29) is especially exemplary, with the trademark combo of ripeness and acidity dancing deftly from start to finish. This is one harmonious wine, with ample fruit and a brisk but sturdy mouthfeel and finish. It’s somehow both dusty and muscular, like other wines grown in this higher-altitude subregion. If there’s a better red for pizza, I’d love to hear about it, but this beauty also will cozy right up to pasta with creamy or tomato sauces, roasted or grilled fowl and caprese. And good God, y’all, would some vintage James Brown also pair splendidly with this.