As one of the most popular varietals of white wine, Pinot Grigio is a name you have probably heard a lot. The funny thing is, YOU’VE BEEN LIED TO! Okay…. maybe not lied to, but you may have not been exposed to everything Pinot Grigio has to offer. Pinot Gris/Grigio is a grayish-purple grape that yields a white wine with a refreshing character. It is a versatile grape that produces a wide variety of styles depending on the region and winemaking style; some (like those from Alsace) can be full-bodied with a rich, somewhat floral bouquet while others (like those from Italy) can be crisp and light-bodied with dominating citrus aromas.
Pinot Grigio/Gris was nature’s way of showing off. A genetic mutation in the Pinot Noir grape strand will randomly pop out a couple bushels of this Rose colored grape. This very popular “skin-contact” grape has taken the world by storm and has allowed winemakers to put their own spin on things. The Alsatian style, often duplicated in regions such as Tasmania, Australia, Washington and even Oregon, tend to have moderate to low acidity, higher alcohol content and an almost “oily” texture that contributes to the full-bodied nature of the wine. The flavors can range from ripe tropical fruit notes of melon and mango to some age-influenced flavors. In Italy, Pinot grigio grapes are often harvested early to retain the refreshing acidity and minimize some of the overt-fruitiness of the variety, creating a more neutral flavor profile. This style is often imitated in older regions, such as Germany where the grape is known as Ruländer.
Do not be intimidated swiss army knife style of this grape. The flavors will bring relief to any occasion and most importantly, this wine is always ready to drink. No sitting on a shelf waiting for the right moment. The beauty of this grape begins on the vine, continues into the bottle, and finishes in the glass when you are out with friends, enjoying a light dinner, or just trying to relax. It is strongly encouraged to travel the world by buying different bottles from different regions using this varietal. The diversity will shock you! Head down to your local wine shop, pick up a couple bottles from different places in the world and taste away!