As a young cook, Hugh Acheson bought one great bottle of wine (often French) with every paycheck. Today he owns Gosford Wine, Five & Ten and two other dining spots in Athens, Georgia.
Burgundy's reputation for producing ethereal, mineral-laden, slightly smoky Pinot Noir far exceeds the region's tiny size. Acheson loves the cherry-rich 2007 Joseph Roty Bourgogne Rouge. Or try the 2006 Bouchard Bourgogne Rouge.
The Loire valley's subregion of Sancerre produces a wine of the same name made from Sauvignon Blanc; its flavors evoke grapefruit, gooseberry and grass. Acheson favors the citrusy 2008 Vacheron. Another option: the 2009 Michel Girard et Fils.