2018 Michel Lelu Muscadet Loire Valley $12
This bright, refreshing, and dry white has something else going for it: a scant 11.5% alcohol, which makes for a very friendly aperitif. But there's enough substance here for it to be much more than a palate-cleanser. Terrific with shellfish pasta or end of day storytelling.
2016 Abbazia di Novacella Schiava Alto Adige $15
Vineyards in the foothills of the Dolomites are higher in altitude and lower in temperature, making the wines less dense, but with sparkling acidity that gives flavors sharp definition. And while this particular bottling seems to vary in quality from year to year, it's a hit way more than a miss. Look for vibrant flavor, clean acids, a light body, and lower alcohol. Fantastic alternative to pinot when having salmon.