This round (which is part four of my wine picks at Surdyk’s) is for the budget-minded wine-snobs in the house: Think you can’t afford real German Riesling and white Bordeaux? Don’t think like that! You can. You really, really can.
Chateau Pailhas Blanc, 2010, $12.99
White Bordeaux is something of a mystery to most Americans—why would the world’s most renowned red wine region even bother with white wines? Because every patch of land there isn’t great for reds, but can make some pretty wonderful whites, such as this very sophisticated, dry, crisp, classy, phenomenal mineral blend of 60 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 40 percent Semillon. Try it if you like glimmering purity and nobility in a glass—or if you’re looking for something to pair with shellfish. —DMG
Strüb Soil to Soul Riesling Kabinett, 2010, $14.99
All the hipsters from Brooklyn to Berkeley have declared this (and every) summer to be the Summer of Riesling—but who can afford the real German stuff? Famous importer Terry Thiese worked with Rheinhessen producer Walter Strub to make a real Riesling at an affordable price point, and this is it. Nectarines, candied almond, tangy tart tangerines, mineral toast—it goes on and on. Try it with fruit and cheese, especially a creamy Minnesota Camembert, from Alemar, or a rich triple-cream cheese like St. André, or curl up with a glass next to your next backyard fire-ring. —DMG