The PG Summer

I’m talking about our favorite patio pounder. The one we buy in a magnum every week because our neighbors keep drinking it.

From Rex Goliath to Santa Margherita we love our Pinot Grigio. It’s just so fresh, light an easy to drink.  It seems to be the gateway wine into dry wine drinking. 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 near the Alps where the weather can be very cool. It’s actually a mutation of pinot noir, the red grape.“Pinot” is actually French for “pine cone,” referring to the shape of the clusters of grapes. Researchers at the University of California Davis have concluded that Pinot gris has a remarkably similar DNA profile to Pinot Noir and that the colour difference is derived from the genetic mutation that occurred centuries ago. The leaves and the vines of both grapes are so similar that the coloration is the only aspect that differentiates the two. 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 doesn’t get quite as ripe, so it’s crisper, leaner, drier, lighter in body, often with citrus and mineral flavors.
            In any case, Pinot Grigio is winning fans. The Nielsen survey folks call it the second-fastest-selling white wine in the country, after chardonnay and ahead of Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Gris is less well-known, but also gaining ground. There are many lovely examples of Pinot Gris from Oregon where the climate is ideal for these grapes to grow in. The Pinot Gris from Oregon are wonderfully crisp as well, but are fuller bodied and more aromatic. Along with an abundance of citrus fruit, Pinot Gris offers additional complex flavors of tree fruits and even hints of almond. This is mostly to do with the soil and climate in which they are grown. Pinot Grigio is also grown in France as Pinot Gris and in Australia as well the United States.

            So, buy a box or a magnum and hit the patio. Now is a great time to explore these wines as they won’t hurt your budget. It is Summer and the neighbors are thirsty.



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