The Purato ($7, purchased, 12.5%) is a white blend from Sicily that, once again, offers everything a great cheap wine should. It’s interesting, which means it does more than just shove fruit in your face. It provides ridiculous value, even when it’s not a previous vintage (as this is). And it’s a delight to drink, which means the bottle is empty and an hour has gone by before you realize what has happened, and you’re wondering why you didn’t buy more of this when you had the chance.
Catarratto is a grape native to Sicily that has traditionally been used to make marsala, a sweet dessert wine. It’s increasingly being used to make table wines as part of Sicily’s wine renaissance, and blending it with pinot grigio is just another of those things the Sicilians have done that has turned out better than anyone could have imagined.
Look for lots of white pepper and a little pinot grigio fruit (maybe a lemon drop that isn’t sweet?), and without any of the bitterness or boredom that is the hallmark of too many Italian pinot grigios. This is a seafood or roast chicken wine, or even something to drink when you want a glass of wine and you don’t want to be bothered by any wine foolishness. Highly recommended, and if this isn’t in the 2014 $10 Hall of Fame, I should skip doing it.