There are a few key elements that seem to magically define what makes a perfect spring wine. Much like the lighter foods you're likely craving come April or May every year, your ideal wine should be as clean, bright and flavorful as a salad of just-picked berries and as aromatic as the season's first bouquet of peonies. Torrontes is that wine. (There are lots of spring-worthy red wines, but we'll wax rhapsodic about those some other time.)
Prepare to be obsessed.
First, a few things you'll want to know going in about your spring wine crush. Torrontes is primarily grown in Argentina, where the people there understand a couple of things about living, eating and drinking exceedingly well. The Argentines have given us in torrontes a wine as lush and sexy as their culture. Typically off-dry (a teensy bit sweet) and medium-bodied, with exotic fruit flavors layered on top, it's a wine equally suited for snuggling up to practically any kind of shellfish, or standing up with bravado to Mediterranean-spiced turkey burgers. Just don't be surprised if you and your friends have finished the bottle before you ever make it to the dinner table.
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O. Fournier 'Urban Uco' Torrontes 2009 ($11): This bottle of wine is going to make you very, very happy. Peep that color. A clear, kiwi-gold tint forecasts at the green papaya and ripe honeydew melon taste explosion that awaits. The Urban Uco offers a delightful foray into this hypnotically delicious grape. Drink this wine and imagine yourself lounging somewhere warm and sunny -- and possibly planning to get into some trouble. Drink alone or with curried chicken salad sandwiches and make it the kind of lunch worth staying home for.
Vistandes Torrontes 2008 ($9): Have you ever met "I hate white wine" guy? You know -- that dude (okay, fine, we've been stuck at parties next to "I hate white wine" girl, too) who proclaims how much he can't stand white wine of any kind? Not only is that a boring, lazy view of an entire genre of wine, but it clearly springs from the mouth of someone who's never tried torrontes. A little more citrus showed up to the party in this particular bottle, but there was still more than enough white peach, nectarine and jasmine-infused floral aromas to go around. The perfect food match? Jumbo prawns glazed with mango barbecue sauce, preferably resting on a bed of coconut-scented pineapple fried rice. Trust us; just do it.
Loca Linda Torrontes 2009 ($17, 1L): Two words: Juicy-licious. Well, technically that's only one word -- and a made-up one at that -- but here are two more that will make you even happier about this particular bottle of wine: one liter. The brilliant winemakers at Loca Linda decided to deliver their insanely refreshing wine in an extra-large bottle meant for sharing (or not, depending on how much you like your friends). Featuring an effortlessly seductive blend of lime zest, green apple and lychee flavors, the only thing that's standing between you and the feeling that you've died and gone to spring-white-wine-heaven is a straw glass. Fair warning: This is one dangerously good and ridiculously cheap bottle of vino that you'll enjoy drinking copious amounts of.