Don’t Underestimate Pinot Gris
By Abby Cifarelli
Although we’re now enjoying the first days of fall, the warmth of summer lingers. Just as it’s not quite time to pull out your heavy sweaters, hold back on fuller bodied wines for now and explore a lighter option while the weather is still with us.
While I always encourage readers to try something new, sometimes it is good to turn around and go back to basics. I’m sure the grape of the month has come across your table or found itself in your glass at some point; whether it’s your go-to or the only white available at a party. Although this grape varietal has earned a reputation of being colorless and flavorless, it deserves much better.
In France, a color mutation of Pinot Noir birthed a white grape varietal called Pinot Gris, which was first produced in Alsace, then introduced to Germany and Austria. The wines were noted for their delicate style and flavorful palate of citrus, apple, and honey. Pinot Gris eventually made its way to Italy and thrived in the cooler northern regions. Pinot Gris evolved into Pinot Grigio and is now one of Italy’s most produced and exported white wines.
If you think of your favorite Italian white, I’m sure Pinot Grigio is the first that comes to mind. In fact, it is America’s second favorite white wine.
Italy’s most Northern wine region, Trentino-Alto Adige, is nestled between the borders of Switzerland and Austria and known for high-quality Pinot Grigio. One being, the Terlan Tradition Pinot Grigio 2019, which breaks the chains of the lackluster stereotype. As you pour, the wine fills your glass with a beautiful straw color. Aromas of melon, pear, lychee nuts, and white flowers quickly present themselves as you swirl. In your mouth, the wine is medium-bodied. A lively acidity jumps around your mouth as notes of melon, honeysuckle and apple come forward. The finish is soft with a touch minerality adding texture.
Pinot Grigio is a perfect wine for happy hour paired with light snacks. For dinner, pair the Terlan Tradition Pinot Grigio 2019 with spaghetti in a lemon sauce topped with cherry tomatoes, arugula, and shrimp.
Like many other grape varietals, Pinot Grigio casts a wide net. Choosing a Pinot Grigio from the regions of Trentino-Alto Adige, such as the Terlan Tradition Pinot Grigio 2019, or from Friuli-Venezia Guilia will leave you with a high-quality one that breaks barriers.