The Wine Stands Alone
NV Tio Pepe Palomino Fino Sherry ($18)
Dry sherries like fino and manzanilla are underrated food wines, but they are also eminently refreshing on their own. This one from Tio Pepe is a classic.
2007 Terra d'Oro Amador County Zinfandel ($15)
Ripe, luscious Zinfandels like this juicy red from Terra d'Oro aren't always great for pairing, so have one by itself. Serve the wine slightly cooler than room temperature.
2004 Tedeschi Amarone ($52)
Amarone is lovely with rich meat dishes, but this fragrant bottling from Tedeschi is so complex and layered that it is utterly captivating all by itself.
NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve ($55)
One of the most complex nonvintage brut bottlings on the market, Heidsieck's toasty Brut Réserve, like all Champagne, tastes great and feels festive even without food.