There are few wines in the world as consistent as the Sauvignon Blancs from the cool, dry, sunny Marlborough
region of New Zealand. They strongly express the herbal, gooseberry aspect of the grape, and pack a citrus, acidic punch that makes them a great foil for many dishes that aren't generally very wine-friendly, such smoked fish, hummus, and spicy Thai food.
I have yet to encounter a bottle that wasn't at least pleasant. In a taste-off of a dozen a few months ago, even the cheapest, a $6.99 2008 King Shag from Trader Joe's, was good.
The easy winner of that taste-off, and one of the best on the market right now, is the Kim Crawford 2008. This intensely aromatic and flavorful wine is simply delicious, and arguably the best white in the under-$15 price range. I've seen it recently for $14.99 at Trader Joe's (555 9th St, 401 Bay, 3 Masonic, 265 Winston), $13.99 at K&L
(638 4th St), and $12.99 at Costco (450 10th St).