Ordering chardonnay is as hopelessly girly as asking for dressing on the side. Andrea Robinson, author of the 2008 Wine Buying Guide for Everyone, serves up fresh choices.


  • For dinner at your-friend-the-starving-poet's house,

    try a Chilean sauvignon blanc from the Veramonte or Casa Lapostolle wineries (ranging from $7 to $10). They're known for their honeydew and tangerine flavors and won't overpower the food (a plus, unless your friend is serving tripe).
  • For dinner at your boss's house, grab
    a Napa Valley sauvignon blanc from the Girard Winery or Mason Cellars (ranging from $15 to $20), which have traces of pineapple, kiwi, and mango. Anything more expensive and your boss will think she's paying you too much.

  • If you want to celebrate that holiday bonus with Cristal

    but the bonus wasn't actually that big, get a bottle of Taittinger or Pommery (ranging from $35 to $40). They're tangy and creamy. Plus, you don't have to pair them with bling, G.
  • No bonus?
    Pick up an excellent made-in-the-USA sparkling white. A bottle of the Domaine Ste. Michelle from Washington or Mirabelle from California (ranging from $12 to $14) will be suitably fruity and effervescent.

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