2008 Domaine Ricard "Les Trois Chênes" Touraine blanc
Not every white wine is meant to be an aperitif, and certainly not this lively Sauvignon Blanc from Domaine Ricard in Touraine, a lesser-known appellation in the Loire Valley of France. This wine needs food to shine, and when it gets it, it becomes the most charming of dinner partners. Made from biodynamically grown grapes, the 2008 "Les Trois Chênes" — the three oaks — is intense and minerally, with notes of lime zest, tangerine and stone. For the money, it's a great little wine to have on hand for the summer. An outstanding bargain from the Loire Valley.
Drink it with steamed shellfish, Asian-accented fish dishes, fish in sauce and chicken dishes. It could even go nicely with pork belly or a pork stir-fry.
Region: Touraine, France
Price: About $15
Style: Crisp and minerally
What it goes with: shellfish, Asian fish dishes, chicken
Where to find it: K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, http://www.klwines.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, http://www.winex.com; and Silverlake Wine in Los Angeles, (323) 662-9024, http://www.silverlakewine.com