Pinot Grigio

Pronounced: Pee-noh Gree-Jhee-Oh

History: Italy's most popular white wine is produced from the * Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris grape varietal. This wine hails from the northeast region of Veneto and Friuli.

Description: A grape varietal, used in the production of white to slightly pink wine, originating in the Alsace region of France. It is a clone of the red Pinot Noir varietal. Also grown in Friuli Italy (largest producer), limited amounts in the United States (primarily California and Oregon), Germany, Austria, Rumania and Hungary. Alsace, France produces the highest quality Pinot Gris; it is of average quality when produced elsewhere. It is blended with a wide range of varietals, such as Pinot Noir, to add richness and lightness.

Taste/Aromas: Pinot Grigio flavors can range from melon to pear and some even offer a subtle tropical or citrus fruit, often there is a honey or smoky flavor component as well. As for color, Pinot Grigio is typically a pale, straw-like yellow with some golden hues thrown in. The texture of a Pinot Grigio is worth noting, as it has very smooth, almost silk-like overtones that leave an impression on the palate. It could possess oak, vanilla, smoke, mineral, and butter flavoring as well as flavors of citrus, pine, nuts, and a mild floral. It can vary from dry to light and tangy to honeyed. Typically rich and full bodied.

Regions: Mornington Peninsula, Adelaide Hills, Yarra Valley or Tasmania.

Cellaring: A light, crisp white wine that is intended to be consumed early on. If vinified into a higher quality dry wine, it has the potential to age well.

Food: Since this wine is fairly acidic itself, avoid pairing with foods that have high acid contents, like citrus fruits or tomato-based recipes. Antipasto, cajun and BBQ shrimp, calzone, cannelloni with ricotta, garlic chicken, stir fry chicken, chicken chow mein, egg rolls, Chinese orange sauce dishes, corned beef, crab cakes, Greek dolmas, deviled eggs, quiche, escargots, smoked fish, Greek cuisine, guacamole, gyoza, fish Tandoori, chicken Tandoori, Indian samosas, Indian pakoras, jambalaya, pad Thai, pasta with garlic and oil, chicken pâté, goose pâté, duck pâté, poultry pâté, vegetable pâté, potato salad, Caesar salad, salmon, smoked salmon, oysters, smoked shellfish, cheese soufflé, Spices (thyme, chives, fennel), chicken tajines.