Wine Time

Dennis Sodomka is a guest columnist | Contact Dennis

Wine Time: Colome Torrontes 2011, Argentina

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COST: $14-16

WHAT: White wine isn’t the first thing you think about when talking about wines from Argentina, and that’s a shame. Torrontes, the signature Argentine white, is an outstanding grape, and the Colome version of it is great.

It’s versatile, pairing with a wide variety of foods. It also can be a pleasant sipping wine, especially on hot summer afternoons.

This wine is a gorgeous pale straw color in the glass, with aromas of fresh flowers with citrus tones. On the palate there are some floral notes with nectarine and bright fresh citrus flavors, especially grapefruit. There is good acidity, but it is a round, balanced wine that has a long, pleasant aftertaste.

It tastes best when slightly chilled. I took it out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving, and it was fine. This is a complex and graceful, elegant wine.

Torrontes dates to the first Argentine vineyards in the early 1800s, but its origin isn’t really known. Some thought it was brought to the country as a raisin variety. DNA testing showed it to be a cross between the Spanish mission wine grapes and Muscat.

The vines thrive on mountainsides above 5,000 feet in the northern part of Argentina. As drinkers around the world discover Torrontes, it is being widely exported.

WINERY: Founded in 1831, Bodega Colomé is one of the oldest wineries in Argentina.

Located in the Upper Calchaquí Valley in Salta, the winery is home to the world’s highest vineyards, sitting between 7,200 and 10,200 feet above sea level, and to the exquisite boutique hotel Estancia Colomé.

The breathtaking views and the vast expanses of untouched terrain make Colomé one of the jewels in the crown of Hess Family Estates, a family-run business made up of seven wineries across the world.

GOES WITH: This Torrontes paired perfectly with a quick meal of steamed shrimp and salad, but I think it would be terrific with many dishes. Try it with spicy Asian dishes, Mexican food and any number of seafood dishes. Teri and I thought it was a spectacular dinner wine.


FEB. 9
Wine and tapas tasting,
5-6:30 p.m., La Maison on Telfair, 404 Telfair St.; four wines and three tapas, $19.99; (706) 722-4805

FEB. 10
Beer tasting,
5-8 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; 13 special brews; $5 with $3 rebate on purchase of six bottles of the featured beers; (803) 279-9522
Wine and beer tasting,
4:30-6:30 p.m., Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; price dependent on flight selection; (706) 922-9463

FEB. 11
Wine and beer tasting,
1-6 p.m., Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; price dependent on flight selection; (706) 922-9463
Wine tasting and barbecue cook-off,
noon-5 p.m., Lake Olmstead Stadium; $20, proceeds benefiting First Tee of Augusta. Tickets at Fat Man’s Riverfront Cafe, Fireside Outdoor Kitchen & Grills, Fleet Feet and The First Tee of Augusta;ponsored by Toast Wine & Beverage, (706) 922-8627

FEB. 12
Wine and food pairing dinner,
5:30, La Maison on Telfair, 404 Telfair St., Augusta, seven course dinner with matching wines from Napa Valley, $80; reservations, (706) 722-4805

FEB. 16
Wine tasting,
5-8 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; three whites, three reds, cheeses; $5 with $3 rebate on purchase of one bottle of the featured wines; (803) 279-9522

FEB. 24
Italian wines seminar,
7 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; (803) 279-9522

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