Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 1998
From California, this is one of the most delicious and easily appreciated wines. Serve this dry, lemony, refreshing sparkler before dinner and with lighter food.
Wolf Blass Brut
Appealing peach and apple flavors waltz across your tongue with the lightest of bubbles, making this wine one that's enjoyable with everything from pre-dinner smoked almonds to pumpkin pie.
Clos Pegase, Mitsuko's Vineyard Chardonnay, 2001
Here is a hot and full-bodied number from Napa Valley that registers a very high 14.3 percent alcohol, making it a white wine that can take the place of a red. It displays notes of pineapple and a bit of oak. It will be especially good with shellfish in a cream sauce. About $22.
King Estate, Pinot Gris, 2000
From Oregon, an off-dry wine (another way of saying on the sweet side of dry), which features a melony taste with a rich and creamy texture that even the occasional wine drinker will appreciate. About $14.
Pesquera, Ribera Del Duero, 1999
This rich red wine from Spain is a move up the flavor ladder in complexity and sophistication. Its pleasantly spicy and peppery sensations will go nicely with just about any meat or fowl. About $22.
Roederer Estate, Anderson Valley Sparkling Wine, NV (Nonvintage)
This bright and effervescent northern California wine is, in a good sense, reminiscent of an alcoholic ginger ale. It's slightly off-dry. A great way to prime the palate with a party nibble at a reasonable price. About $17.
Banfi, Rosa Regale, 2001
This is a fizzy and festive dessert wine from Italy that will be great with cakes or something chocolaty. Sweet, but not terribly so, like a raspberry or black cherry soda with a hint of alcohol, only 7 percent. Delightful. About $20.