I'm a longtime fan of wines from the Alsace estate Zind-Humbrecht, which can trace its wine growing history back to the Thirty Years' War in the 17th century.
Who wouldn't covet any of their stunning grand crus? But a Tokay Pinot Gris from Clos Saint Urbain from Rangen de Thann, say, is strictly a special occasion wine. The estate's entry-level 2010 Pinot Blanc, however, is very affordable, and it's a perfect white for everyday drinking.
Scented with flowers and peaches, it's crisp yet with ripe fruit and a thrilling complexity. Versatile with food, it can go from a tarte flambé or seafood salad to poached salmon or grilled Santa Barbara spot prawns. And it has a special affinity for Asian and fusion cuisines and the crazy quilt of flavors that make up California cuisine.
Region: Alsace, France
Price: About $22
Style: A balance of ripeness and acidity
What it goes with: Tarte flambé, seafood salad, poached salmon
Where to find it: K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, http://www.klwines.com; Manhattan Fine Wines in Manhattan Beach, (310) 374-3454, http://www.manhattanfinewines.com; San Clemente Wine Co. in San Clemente, (949) 429-7067, http://www.scwinecompany.com; and Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, http://www.winex.com.