Here, a very special white and a powerful red, plus the perfect matches for meat and vegetables.

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Special-Occasion Wines

Change-Your-Life White

2007 Dönnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Grosses Gewächs ($77)

This German Riesling is utterly profound. Or buy the brilliant producer's basic estate bottling for a mere $24.

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Elegant Powerhouse

2008 Hartford Russian River Valley Zinfandel ($35)

Though some wine pros disagree, wines above 15.5 percent alcohol can be balanced.

Honey Mustard Chicken
Credit: © Ngoc Minh Ngo

Great Steak Wine

2008 Leonetti Merlot ($75)

The Figgins family of Washington's acclaimed Leonetti now raises flavorful grass-fed beef (lostinecattlecompany.com). No surprise the wines are tasty with a rib eye.

Spice-Rubbed T-Bone Steaks
Credit: © Con Poulos



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Top Vegetable Wine

2008 Hirsch Grüner #1 ($19)

When you are looking for a wine to go with vegetables, Grüner is almost always the answer.

Mario Batali

100 Bottles to Drink Right Now

More Wine Coverage:

American Wine Awards 2009
Is Greatness Overrated?
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