With summer parties in full swing, where to go for a user-friendly, refreshing wine that you can serve to a crowd without blowing your budget?
Lots of folks will think Trader Joe's. Purely in terms of price, it's tough to beat Three-Buck Chuck (the wine formerly known as Two-Buck Chuck), but — well, you get what you pay for.
Spend a bit more, though, and you can find something truly tasty like the Amancay 2014 Reserve Torrontes. On shelves at TJ's for a bargain price of $7.99, this Argentine white makes a fine stand-alone sipper or complement to light summer fare.
The torrontes grape is grown almost exclusively in Argentina, and this version of the wine comes from La Rioja, a region of high-elevation vineyards in the shadow of the Andes.
The aroma of the Amancay torrontes is typical of the varietal — floral foremost, with hints of jasmine and rose petals, balanced with a rich whiff of tropical fruit.
Sip and the floral tones become the accent to fruit-forward flavors: cantaloupe, papaya, mango and a citrus edge of clementine and grapefruit that steers the wine away from sweetness and into a crisp finish.
This torrontes is a perfect aperitif; for food pairings, consider anything from the sea, from ceviche to grilled shrimp and scallops, or a big, crisp, various salad enriched with avocado and goat cheese.
Colette Bancroft, Times staff writer