Off-dry white wineswith a small amount of natural grape sugartend to survive better than other wines when open, as do young, powerfully tannic reds.
Uncorked Wines that Last:
2008 Husch Vineyards Chenin Blanc ($11)
Located in California's Anderson Valley, Husch been producing a wide range of compelling wines since 1971. Among them is this lively, melony white, made with a tiny bit of residual sugar.
2008 Chateau Grand Traverse Whole Cluster Riesling ($14)
Fragrant and floral, this light-bodied, grapefruity wine comes from Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula, an up-and-coming region that juts out into Lake Michigan near Traverse City.
2008 Tangent Paragon Vineyard Riesling ($17)
Tangent, an ambitious venture from the owners of Baileyana Winery in San Luis Obispo, California, focuses on non-Chardonnay whites. Among the best is this fragrant, ever-so-slightly off-dry Riesling.
2008 Pewsey Vale Prima Riesling ($19)
Like most Australian Riesling producers, Pewsey Vale Vineyard primarily makes austere, entirely dry bottlings with razorlike acidity. This spicy, lime-scented white is a slightly sweeter exception.
2008 François Pinon Cuvée Tradition Vouvray ($20)
Great Chenin Blancs from France's Vouvray region are among the longest-lived white wines in the world. This introductory bottling from a top producer is citrusy, graceful and faintly sweet.
Young, Robust Reds
2006 Vinum Cellars PETS Petite Sirah ($14)
The Petite Sirah grape produces some of California's most inky, full-bodied reds. This bottling from Napa Valleybased Vinum Cellars is big and rich, with dark-chocolate and berry notes.
2006 Château de Campuget 1753 ($14)
The earliest records of vines planted at this southern French estate date back to 1753, hence this grippy, berry-rich Syrah's name.
2006 Maycas del Limari Syrah ($23)
Spicy and intense, this Chilean red benefits from exposure to air right nowit softens and shows more fruit and depth after several hours (or a day) open.
2007 JC Cellars Smoke & Mirrors ($25)
A dash each of Petite Sirah and Zinfandel gives some additional potency to the blackberry and black pepper flavors of this powerful California Syrah blend.
2007 Mastroberardino Aglianico ($25)
The Aglianico grape is grown in southern Italy's Campania region, where it's used for uncompromisingly tannic, black-fruited reds like this one.
Joe Bastianich on Italian Wines: