Be carefull with underexposing (to retain highlights). Underexposing and then later correcting in PP, is introducing more noise in the picture (even in RAW). It is better to "bracket" the shot at different exposures and then combine the final picture in PP (HDR or quasi HDR).
Do you really mean "unerexposing by 2/3-1 stop"? I suspect you mean to deviate that amount from what the metering system recommends.
If so I wouldn't worry about "underexposure", but just accept that exposure meters are quite dumb devices. Worse, "intelligent" matrix measurement systems usually are neither documented nor predictable, and when in doubt you're better off with old-fashioned but predictable systems like integral metering.
If you do not want to blow the highlights, you ideally have to take the meter reading off the highlights, i.e. use spot or partial metering. But even that isn't 100% reliable if the exposure meter doesn't take colour into account. If you cannot afford the time for careful metering before every exposure, using exposure correction indeed seems to be the best workaround, at the expense of potentialy wasting some dynamic range.
The most accurate and reliable way of achieving optimal exposure is to use the camera sensor itself as masurement device. I.e., take a test shot (or use live view, if available) and adjust accordingly.