Perfect Trios 

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    Selection: 2004 Maria Casanovas Cava Nature pinot noir, a dry sparkling wine from Catalonia, Spain. River City Cellars ($45).

    Taste: This dark-pink pinot has subtle notes of strawberries and rose petals.

    Pair with: The dry finish of the sparkling cava is an ideal match for Asian-style cuisine, like the fried rocket shrimp (tom hoa tien) appetizer ($4.95) from Mekong Restaurant.

    Serve in: A Waterford crystal flute ($75) from J. Taylor Hogan Inc.


    Selection: 2005 Hopler Grüner Veltliner, a light-bodied Austrian white wine. J. Emerson, Inc. ($13.95).

    Taste: Hints of yellow apple, under-ripe apricot and quince.

    Pair with: The light character of the grape makes it easy to drink as an aperitif or paired with a sub like the Mosca, or "Fat Italian," from Table 9, which is filled with pepperoni, salami, capicola, provolone and hot/sweet peppers ($7.25).

    Serve in: A stemless glass by Riedel ($12.99) from Carytown Wine and Beer.


    Selection: 2003 Benotto Monferrato Rosso Nebieul, an affordable and approachable wine made from the Nebbiolo grape from the Piedmont region of Italy. Strawberry Street Vineyard ($13.99).

    Taste: This well-balanced organic red wine has aromas of cedar, bacon and rosewood.

    Pair with: Full of flavor and fruit, it complements robust, hearty meat entrées as well as leaner choices, like the grilled ostrich filet with rutabaga-new potato hash, chanterelle mushroom glacé and rapini ($29) at Rowland Fine Dining.

    Serve in: A glass by Eastern ($7.75) at Mongrel.
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