Everyday: The saga of Soave is a sad one, replete with overproduced plonk. But some Veneto winemakers are still doing it the right way, as the Tamellini Soave ($15) shows. What a nose: spring flowers and a touch of nuttiness. On the palate there are herbs, spices and minerals galore in this puppy, plus citrus and green-apple flavors. It’s vibrant but smooth and persistent on the end. This makes a great aperitif, especially since it sings with a tray of light cheeses and fresh fruit.
Special occasion: OK, so now I’ve had two flat-out delicious white wines made with pinot noir grapes (with the skins removed early in the process). Domaine Serene’s Couer Blanc is sublime but spendy. The 2009 Novy Willamette Valley Blanc de Pinot Noir, on the other hand, checks in at around $25. A floral, creamy beginning turns layered and spicy, a fruit cocktail of sorts through the rich finish. It should be delightful with roast chicken or a slab of salmon grilled on a cedar plank (it is Oregon pinot, after all).