To usher in the Super Bowl, my wife, Wendy, and I invited a group of friends over to our house in Queens. Pregame festivities called for a white wine for sipping. I approached this Sauvignon Blanc with some trepidation, because Chilean whites have not impressed me in the past. But this wine from Viña San Pedro was a revelation. It was very minerally and zesty, with a rich viscosity. It is made from grapes grown in the Elquí Valley region, near the "waist" of Chile where the spine of the Andes come the closest to the Pacific Ocean. Cool breezes from the ocean moderate the climate and provide the freshness that Sauvignon Blanc needs to perform well.
One of my friends normally prefers reds to whites, but she was a quick convert to this wine. "It is the first white I've ever liked so much. It is light, dry and very smooth—without a lot of fruitiness," she said. I heartily agreed, and it was fun to see her excitement. I scored it 89 points, non-blind, and it costs just $13 a bottle.