Gascony (called Gascogne in France) is the wine-producing region southeast of Bordeaux known primarily for white blends, like the 2013 Domaine de Pellehaut "Harmonie de Gascogne." This delightful summery wine of character blends chardonnay and a smidge of sauv blanc plus a number of local grapes most of us have never heard of: ugni blanc, gros manseng petit and folle blanche. Turns out they are varieties worth knowing. At about $9 at some local big box wine retailers, consider it a steal.
This lively blend starts off with a subtle nose of pear and lime and segues into a considerably more complex, fruit-forward palate of pear, lime, pineapple, honey and a late-blooming kick of grapefruit. Overall, it is lush and balanced and delivers a lingering satisfaction compounded of bright fruit and unexpected structure.
We tasted it alongside a dish of spaghetti with fresh shiitake mushrooms in a creamy lemon sauce and were knocked out by the pairing, finding it perfect for a warm and humid summer evening. It also will drink beautifully on its own or as an aperitif.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.