In Vino Veritas: Early Fall Pinot Gris
By: Bianca Blanca Rioja, September 13, 2012
BIANCA BLANCA RIOJA - Born to humble grape harvesters in an oak barrel outside of Barcelona, Bianca has traveled the world performing flamenco and sampling the fruits of Bacchus' labor. While no wine is too complicated or indulgent for her, Bianca specializes in big flavor with small price tag. Vino es pasión!
Pinot Gris is ideal for late summer early fall wine drinking. A soft yet crisp white, it delivers a refreshing crispness and subtle complexity that can stand up to any seafood or poultry dish.
Tasting a subtle vanilla bean note, people often lump pinot gris and pinot grigio into the same category, but that is simply unfair. Although genetically they are the same grape, the two wines are grown and aged completely differently. Where pinot grigio can be sour or tart, pinot gris offers a soft and gentle progression throughout its flavor melody.
Just like live music, great wine should have enough complexity to let new flavors appear throughout the sensory experience. Pinot gris is a real crowd pleaser because it has the qualities that speak to many different types of white wine. A chardonnay drinker will respond to the crispness, while a pinot grigio drinker will enjoy the softer texture. A sauvignon blanc aficionado will love the drinkability and finish.
Everyone’s taste is different and when I’m judging a wine that I may not be fond of (for instance, California chardonnay), I can base an objective opinion on whether or not it impacts all my senses harmoniously. Visually, texturally and finally through taste and smell, wine should engage you.
Just like a good musician, the A to Z Pinot Gris plays a tune for a diverse crowd yet everyone takes something special away for themselves. Hailing from Newberg, Oregon, this pinot gris is available everywhere and costs about $11 per bottle at major retail stores, offering superior flavors and drinkability for very a great value.
With a crisp ripe pear introduction, it quenches and refreshes the salivary glands, wetting the palate with a soft but medium to heavy texture. As the wine flows down your throat, the subtle vanilla bean coats the inside of your cheeks, only to be evaporated by a crisp apple finish.
The A to Z Pinot Gris would make an equally awesome pairing with lobster roll or Thanksgiving dinner. Vegetarian diets also pair beautifully with this wine. I can just hear creamed spinach, herbal salads and potatoes and yellow curries singing this wine’s chorus.
If you enjoy wines with a little less vanilla or buttery quality, the Acrobat Pinot Gris ($10 per bottle) or Adelshiem Pinot Gris ($17 per bottle) are less sweet and more herbal.