We've had our share of cold fronts and hard freezes this winter, so a bit of sympathetic magic seems in order to lure an early spring. The perfect elixir for the job is a torrontes from Argentina's justly celebrated Mendoza region, a straw-colored wine with a faint green tint that captures spring in a bottle.
The 2009 Trivento Reserve Torrontés (about $12 at wine shops and wine-savvy markets) is a lovely and lively example of the varietal. To the de rigueur scent of violets on its seductive nose this wine adds a little grapefruit and a touch of vanilla. All of those appear on the tongue, as well, plus nuanced oak and lime, and light herbal grace notes.
Put that stellar flavor profile together with a silky soft mouthfeel and you end up with a crisp and bracing wine as welcome as the first monarch butterfly of spring.
We'd drink this wine well chilled and solo or serve it with a big platter of cold peel-and-eat shrimp or maybe a salad of field greens, avocado, raw red bell pepper and hard-boiled egg slices.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.