The weather is finally turning warm, and
itâ€™s time to select a â€œhouse whiteâ€ for the summer. You know, that
inexpensive wine that you can buy by the case and always keep a bottle
in the fridge for gulping on the patio while the coals heat up in the
grill. Yeah, that kind of white.
I have two candidates this year, both TorrontĂ©s from Argentina. This is
an obscure grape that hasnâ€™t yet totally succumbed to replanting as
Argentine wineries switch over to the more acceptable
â€œinternationalâ€ varietals such as Chardonnay. TorrontĂ©s does not
yield a particularly complex wine, but it can be quite refreshing. It
has some floral aspects, peachy/lychee notes like a Viognier or
Gewurztraminer, but more restrained. It makes a fun aperitif, and its
bigger versions â€“ which are not very big by any standard â€“ match
nicely with pungent cheeses such as muenster.
Iâ€™ll be stocking up on two TorrontĂ©s wines this summer: Santa Julia 2005 TorrontĂ©s ($8)
from Mendoza is exuberant with the floral notes that make Gewurz lovers
swoon, but is also dry enough to satisfy that grapeâ€™s detractors.
(Well, maybe; itâ€™s worth a try!) This a delightful quaffing wine from a
line of bargain values produced by Famiglia Zuccardi winery. Anything
by this winery is worth the price.
Also worth seeking out is Tittarelli Reserva 2005 TorrontĂ©s ($10).
Here the floral notes are a little more restrained than in the Santa
Julia, with some mineral character to give the wine a little backbone
â€“ a great pairing for your patio nosh.
Santa Julia is imported by Winesellers, Ltd., of Chicago. Tittarelli is imported by William-Harrison Imports of Manassas, Va.
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