Nutty and honey-scented, this white is from one of Greece's big producers (Boutari owns six wineries throughout the country). The wine spends seven months in French barrels, proving Assyrtiko can improve with oak aging.
Grilled Sardines with Eggplant Puree and Tarragon Dressing
Pairing: 2008 Livon Braide Grande Pinot Grigio
Livon gives this Pinot Grigio some oak treatment (30 percent of it is fermented and aged in French barrels), which imparts well-integrated toast, vanilla and spice notes to flavors of bright grapefruit and apple.
Pairing: 2009 Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County Chardonnay
Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren's basic Chardonnay has been a go-to value white for many years now, and the '09 will only sustain the wine's reputation. Silky, with an alluring touch of sweet oak, it's classic California Chardonnay.