Open a bottle for some oysters on the half shell, steamed shellfish or a chilled Dungeness crab. I like it with smoked trout or salmon too. It also makes a fine aperitif. And at less than $20, you can afford to have some on hand to take to a dinner party or maybe uncork one night to enjoy while watching Gabriel Byrne parse a new set of patients' problems on HBO's "In Treatment."
-- S. Irene Virbila
Price: $14 to $18
Style: Lively, spicy
What it goes with: Oysters, smoked fish, steamed shellfish, sushi
Where to find it: K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood (323) 464-9463, www; Mission Wines in South Pasadena (626) 403-9463, www.mission; Salt Creek Wine Co. in Laguna Niguel (949) 249-9463, www.saltcreek; and Wine Exchange in Orange (714) 974-1454, www.winex.com; the Wine Club in Santa Ana (714) 835-6485, www.the; the Wine House in West Los Angeles (310) 479-3731, www.winehouse.