Irish Monkey Cellars
2008 Torrontes - Lodi
$12 / 750 ml.

One of the most unusual white wines in America, Torrontes is remarkable in that it perfectly captures the flavor of "Early-Summer green grapes". Similar to Malvasias, the Torrontes is powerfully aromatic, clean and a simple canvas of green-to-white flavors.

It is also decidedly unique in that it is only a 9.5% alcohol level wine! In essence, the grapes fully ripen to golden-green globes, but only produce enough sugar to bring the wine to 9.5%. It is absolutely dry (setting it apart from Rieslings that at 9.5% are sweet), and served ice cold, absolutely refreshing.

Serving
Temperature Ice Cold Pairs beautifully to green Tuscan and crushed black Green olives - without the complication of cheese or salame. Ideally, this would be the very first "greet the friends at the door" wine, served prior to a Champagne or sparking wine.
Glass Narrow & Tall Since the recommendation is "serve first", we see every reason to haul out the champagne flutes, for precisely the same reason: your guests will undoubtedly feel "festive" with the flute, and the narrow opening concentrates the Torrontes aroma as a surprise.
Transition to

Chablis
Sauvignon Blanc
Riesling
Champagne
Sparkling wine

Gin!

In pairing, with such a powerfully aromatic, completely dry yet beautifully balanced ultra-low alcohol wine, the idea is to pair with simple, powerful, clean, herbaceous flavors.

You can't go wrong with the green olives, pepperocini, salted radishes, marinated cucumbers, cornichons and even extra-large caper berries. It may sound like treason, but we have even successfully moved from Torrontes to neat gin based cocktails ... paired to a green salad and Spanish Jerez sherry vinegar. Oh, the craziness of summer!