What do you ask for in an inexpensive white wine? At least some varietal correctness, an ability to pair with first and second courses, maybe even a compliment or two after people have tasted it approvingly and then are surprised by the attractive price point. Peller Estates Family Series sauvignon blanc ($13) does all this in spades. It is crisp, lively, even a touch grassy, with a hint of lime and enough body to allow serving it with chili-spiced prawns over a bed of baby kale and arugula.
After such a convivial start to the evening, and after all the small talk about baseball, you might be ready for the goalie discussion, since there are now three teams (Florida, New Jersey, and Carolina) boasting former Canucks in their creases this coming season. Your ill feelings, should you be harbouring them, will be assuaged with the barbecued pork country-style ribs, potato salad, and freshly grilled corn cobs turned into a succotash. The magic ingredient is a classic wine, the Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel ($21), a bottle which will turn any evening into a memorable one. Dinner for two, one bottle is fine. Dinner for four, you will need two!