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Springtime Means Pinot Grigio PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jacqueline Coleman, BT Contributor   
March 2018

Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

WVino_Be all know white-wine drinkers who strongly favor one white varietal over all others. Usually there are the strictly Chardonnay drinkers, who claim that creamy butter should be a standard flavor in their white wine glass, and who prefer their wine the color of yellow gold.

True Sauvignon Blanc stalwarts love the tropical fruit flavors of New Zealand, and rarely order any white wine from California, citing the chance of accidently ordering a wine bearing close similarities to Chardonnay.

Those who prefer the sweeter varietals, such as Riesling, seldom venture far from the safety of residual sugar in a wine and find comfort in the hard-to-pronounce German labels.

Then you have those who prefer Pinot Grigio. Perhaps the more reasonable of the white wine-os, Pinot Grigio advocates are usually a quiet bunch who simply enjoy the refreshing zest of the “gray” grape.

As we come into spring, I think it’s an appropriate time to dive into the world of Pinot Grigios, or Pinot Gris, if you prefer. Of course, they are one and the same grape varietals, just a different name, depending on whether the wine leans Italian or French.

Pinot Grigio is always an excellent choice for front-porch sitting or poolside dipping, which we can all agree are perfect springtime activities. Usually with a lemon or honeysuckle backbone and a punch of energizing acidity, Pinot Grigios are on the crisper side of the white wine spectrum, and a solid accompaniment to light spring salads. Join me as we explore a few bottles of this varietal from Italy to Oregon, and discover one that will make it onto your spring to-drink list.

Believe it or not, my favorite of this bunch is a Pinot Gris from Columbia Valley, Oregon. The 2015 Rascal Pinot Gris from the Great Oregon Wine Company is a perfect balance of fruit and acidity. I notice a bit more weight to it than some of its Italian Pinot Grigio cousins, and a bit more “creaminess” to the body of the wine. Expect a strong bouquet of peach nectar and tangy citrus. This Pinot Gris is a perfect food-pairing wine.

Of the European bottles, I really enjoyed the 2016 Ca’Bolani Pinot Grigio from Friuli. Very citrusy on the palate with strong acidity means this wine is extremely refreshing. A lovely balance between the acidity and the sweet hint of honeysuckle that comes in at the right time during your taste. There’s some effervescence in the bottle, too, which adds a slight twist to this stimulating wine.

For a more traditional Italian white wine, try the 2015 Corvo Pinot Grigio. This wine had a hint of minerality on the nose, which definitely shows stronger on the palate. A dry Old World wine with muted fruit flavors means that it will impress the old-style Pinot Grigio aficionado.

Back in the New World, we have a couple Pinot Grigios out of California. The 2015 Bend Pinot Grigio and the 2015 Big House Wine Co. Pinot Grigio are both pretty light in color and structure. Big House has a bit stronger citrus and ripe apple on the bouquet, and a slight tangy sweetness on the palate, with extremely mild acidity. The Bend wine shows more floral and honeysuckle on the nose, and it actually hits you with some tartness on the palate. Not a lot of substance from these two, as they are both light and fluffy, but not offensive by any means.

If you would like a wine with a little more sweetness to it, try the 2015 Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio. This Italian wine from Delle Venezie is a pleasant drinker, with strong green apple aromas on the nose. The acidity is solid, and the peachy sweetness on the palate makes it a refreshing libation. Try it with your citrus or peach-based spring salad.

The last wine of mention is the 2016 Villa Sonia Pinot Grigio. Also an Italian wine from Delle Venezie, this particular Pinot Grigio is a little dryer than the last. There’s a bit of bitterness on the aftertaste, but overall the acidity is right for food pairing. Tangy on the nose, and lighter in body, it has a little more of that citrus punch than the Santa Cristina. Overall, a decent drinker, and should be considered when shopping for springtime wine.



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