05 Luis Pato, Maria Gomes
When I first bought this wine, it was because I needed a cheap white to cook with. That afternoon, I drank a glass and decided to make boeuf bourguignon instead. Over the last three years, Pato's Maria Gomes has been his most consistent wine. A slight, simple varietal akin to cortese or tocai friuliano, it balances light freshness with a medium-bodied midpalate. Ultimately, it's your favorite everyday white wine, in the sense that gruner drinkers will taste gruner, sauvignon blanc drinkers will taste sauvignon, verdelho drinkers will taste verdelho, and dry Vouvray drinkers will taste dry chenin blanc. Its zesty lemon flavors, with hints of golden delicious apple, green raisins, and white pepper, make one long for paella or steamed langoustines and clams. It puts my feet into soil just about as sandy as the soils in which Pato grows these grapes. I could be looking out to some vast expanse of water right now, smelling salt in the air.