The grape: Riesling for all occasions.
The word: The Pacific Northwest, especially Washington, built its reputation for crisp, tasty, low-cost whites on the back of the Riesling grape.
And today is no different as this most versatile of the white grapes is still one of the great bargain wines.
Favorite Rieslings can be found for under $10. They're often the best bargains at restaurants.
The match: Nats Decants (nataliemaclean.com) says matches for Riesling include Munster cheese, spicy chicken wings, mild coconut curry, any number of Mexican dishes, Hawaiian-influenced pizza, poached salmon, turkey holiday dinner and Greek salad.
Pacific Rim Winemakers 2007 Dry Riesling, Columbia Valley, $10: Great balance and flavors of apple crisp with a peach on top.
Barnard Griffin 2008 White Riesling, Columbia Valley, $7: It personifies Washington Riesling with ripe apples aromas and creamy peach flavors.
Hogue Cellars 2008 Late Harvest White Riesling, Columbia Valley, $10: Honeysuckle, apricots and sweet lemons dominate. About 5% residual sugar and perfectly balanced.
Erath 2008 Dry Riesling, Oregon, $10: Lemon-lime notes with a hint of sweetness and Germanic in style.
Washington Hills, 3-liter cask NV Riesling, Washington, $20: This is equivalent to four bottles at $5 a bottle and just right for a wedding shower. Fragrant peaches and bright acidity.