This week's wine is both an oddly agreeable white table wine or aperitif and a new varietal for us. The 2010 Falernia Pedro Ximenez Reserva from Chile's Elqui Valley (about $9 at wine shops and wine-savvy markets) surprised us on two counts.
First there is the grape, Pedro Ximenez, or often just Pedro, which has a long history in Spain and is used in sherries as well as table wine. Somehow, we simply had missed this grape and are happy now to have it on our radar.
Second there is the bouquet, compounded of almond and nutmeg with a little subtle white peach, a novel combination in our experience.
On the tongue, this steel-fermented wine presents itself in distinct layers or phases: white peach and almond giving way first to white peach and lime and then to lime and ginger before easing into a pleasantly dry finish with a surprising ginger ale zip right at the end.
See? Odd from first to last.
Pair it with ceviche or sushi or maybe a nice grilled mahi mahi sandwich asserted by a simple squeeze of lemon.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to pictograph.com.