Ca’Rugate’s Soave is affordable, delicious and a hallmark of someone with good sense and excellent taste.

Ca’Rugata San Michele Soave Classico 2012 $18There’s a chance there’ll be some snickering by some pinheads when you order a bottle of Soave thanks to its less-than-illustrious history in the 1970s and ’80s as an innocuous jug wine that was sent over here by the tankerful to satisfy North American’s desire for a foreign wine that tasted anything but foreign—bland, clear, very uncomplicated. Its northern pal, Pinot Grigio, ultimately took over Soave’s role (and has the same image problem, to boot).But in the hands of someone thoughtful, the garganegna (gar-Gah-neh-gah) grape can produce wines that have levels of interest. Serve this bottle ice cold and its notes of lemon and citrus stand out. As it warms up, a floral bouquet kicks and and the finish develops a pleasing softness. It’s unfussy but sophisticated in a way that has me always thinking it’s got to be more expensive than it is. There is an ocean of nondescript whites that are priced higher and can’t hold a candle to this wine.So if there’s some hillbilly giggling in the corner when you order this Soave, hold your head high…….and let him order Pinot Gris.