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Maculan 1999 Pino & Toi ($9.99)
MaculanIt's a rare thing to find an Italian white of much interst for less than $10, but this oddly named item from the Veneto stands out against the competition. A pale-gold blend of 60% Tocai, 25% Pinot Bianco and 15% Pinot Grigio, it's herbal and intensely aromatic, showing intriguing scents of apricots and green peas and a distant earthy whiff of wool. Pleasantly tart and bone-dry, its flavors focus on delicate white tropical fruits, starfruit and kiwis, bright and crisp in a long, clean finish. U.S. importer: Vin DiVino, Chicago; Leonardo Loscascio Selections. (Dec. 23, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: Perfect with a Continental variation on a down-home favorite: Alder-smoked salmon and peas in a light bechamel sauce over pasta.

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