A friend asked me to make wine recommendations for a Mediterranean dinner — mostly vegetarian. Absent knowing exactly what dishes she is going to serve, I have assume flavors based on the fact that Mediterranean food typically has a lot of olive oil, kalamata olives, tomatoes, eggplant, and so on.
Regional wines from Italy and Spain are probably the best bet, focusing primarily on acidic white wines and lighter reds. So, from Italy, I’d look at some Fruilianos and Alto Adige. Spain would take me down the path of some Soave and Albarino. If you wanted to go crazy, there are some Israeli wines that might be worth checking out, if you can find them. You can also pick up some wines from Southern France that would be compatible — Cotes du Rhones — though they tend to be expensive (though I’ve found the Guigal Cotes du Rhone pretty consistent). For New World wines, I’d probably choose Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand. And, don’t forget sparkling wines! [UPDATE: Oh yeah, I forgot about Gruner Veltiner, a recent favorite!]
The most typical lighter red would be a Pinot Noir — these can be a bit tricky to get good ones for under $20 though.
Finally, you could wrap things up with some Sauternes!
Anyone out there have additional suggestions?