This week's wine is one we're assigning to a niche. It is a bright and crisp white that pairs beautifully with spicy dishes from Thai green curry tofu to Indian tandoori chicken to New Mexican carne adovada, but its aggressively floral aroma is likely to make it a less than universal favorite.
Like the malbec we profiled last week, the 2007 Silvertop Torrontes (about $7 at wine shops and big box stores) hails from the high, semiarid, earthquake-shivered vineyards of Argentina's Mendoza wine region. But all similarities end there. While the malbec is a smooth and supple red, the torrontes is a clean but unabashedly fruit-forward white that in the glass will fool your nose into thinking you are walking through a cottage garden in full riotous bloom just after a spring rain.
On the tongue, this torrontes will remind sauvignon blanc drinkers of New Zealand's zestiest exemplars. All the fresh citrus flavors you'd expect are right up front, especially grapefruit and lemon, as are prominent melon, honey and spice notes, but this is no tutti-frutti wine. It finishes dry and refreshes the palate with each sip, which is just what the doctor ordered with fiery foods.
Colette and John Bancroft. Colette Bancroft is the Times' book editor. John Bancroft is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.