By Bruce Cochran
Argentina’s most popular white
This week I’m repeating a timely topic from exactly one year ago, though with a different recommendation, to emphasize a bargain that deserves to be better known. Its fans may wish this grape to remain undiscovered, because that’s why it’s such a good deal. If you entertain this time of year, you can impress your friends with this one.
Try a new wine this week!
Torrontes is one of those wine grapes that is little known here, but much loved in its native home. While originally from Spain, though little grown there today, torrontes is Argentina’s most popular white wine. It’s becoming better known here in the United States, but it’s still eclectic enough to have a great price.
Rarely does an Argentine Torrontes cost more than $10 or so. And it’s gaining fans, who, like myself, enjoy its flowery nose and softly spicy taste. It’s somewhat similar to a Gewürztraminer.
It’s very versatile, being good with spicy foods, mild cheeses or alone. I like to pour it for diverse groups of people, as this style tends to appeal to wine veterans and novices alike. A lot of wines don’t, but torrontes is very people friendly and makes a fun aperitif or surprise wine.
Torrontes is grown in Argentina’s most famous wine region, Mendoza, though some of the best ones come from the Salta province farther north.
The arid Andes foothills make organic farming easier, and there’s a big movement toward this. There’s also a trend toward higher elevation vineyards. All are irrigated from Andean mountain snowmelt, through a complex, 500-old series of channels and small canals.
One of the good Mendoza bottlings available locally and a real bargain, is Trivento, named for three winds that cool the area during the evening and night. It retails for around $10.
By Bruce Cochran