A Guide to Wine, Food & the Good Life
To subscribe and be notified anytime we post a new article, enter your email address in the box below, then click on Subscribe Now.

Underground Wine Line

Similar Articles:

  1. 2016 STUPID WINE DESCRIPTION AWARD WINNERS AND MORE!
  2. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!
  3. BURGUNDY – 2016 VISIT
  4. YIKES! THE 1000 POINT WINE SCORE IS HERE
  5. CHAMPAGNE DAY 2016
  6. OUTSTANDING OLD MARSANNAY ROSÉS
  7. A MONTE BELLO TOAST TO PAUL DRAPER
  8. THE PERILS OF FARMING – MOTHER NATURE DEVESTATES BURGUNDY
  9. DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME OF YEAR IT IS ON THE WINE CALENDAR?
  10. THE DAILY MEAL WINERY AWARDS
  11. STUPID WINE DESCRIPTION OF THE YEAR?
  12. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!
  13. ENCORE: DEAR SANTA, WE’VE GOT A LITTLE LIST
  14. BACK TO THE FUTURE
  15. A VIEW OF THE 2015 BURGUNDY VINTAGE IN ADVANCE OF THE ANNUAL UNDERGROUND WINELETTER TRIP TO BURGUNDY TO TASTE THE 2014S
  16. I HATE TO TELL YOU “I TOLD YOU SO” BUT “I TOLD YOU SO!”
  17. WHAT’S IN YOUR WINE GLASS?
  18. MORE ON BIB WINE
  19. THE JUDGMENT OF MOSCOW
  20. ROSÉ WINES AND THE GREAT ROSÉS OF PROVENCE
  21. A SHOT OUT OF THE BLUE: WE HAVE A NEW ENTRY IN THE WINE INGREDIENT LABELING DERBY
  22. PREMOX: “WHEREFORE ART THOU?”
  23. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015!
  24. PREVIEW: ALONG THE BUGUNDY TRAIL VINTAGE 2013
  25. CAUTION! WHAT’S IN YOUR WINE?
  26. FOR THE LOVE OF ROSÉS
  27. THE BEST WINERIES IN AMERICA - THE TOP 3 ARE FROM CALIFORNIA'S CENTRAL COAST!
  28. STOP THE PRESSES! THERE IS A NEW SCORING SYSTEM!
  29. WINE WRITING – WHAT IS IT?
  30. POLYESTER WINES
  31. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!
  32. THE UNDERGROUND IS BACK!
  33. CALLING TIME OUT
  34. ROSÉ - IT’S TIME HAS COME
  35. ARE NUTRITIONAL LABELS COMING TO ALCOHOLIC DRINKS?
  36. THE BLENDING GAME: ROSÉ & MORE
  37. ATTENTION ALL WINE CONSUMERS: WINE INGREDIENT LABELING IS HERE!
  38. EXCLUSIVE NEWS FLASH!
  39. THE GREATER FOOL?
  40. DOMAINE ALBERT GRIVAULT
  41. TASTING WINE VS. DRINKING WINE - IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
  42. A PAIR TO DRAW TO & A GUIDE FOR WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WINES THAT ARE FOOD FRIENDLY, BALANCED, AND CAPABLE OF AGING FOR AN EXTENDED TIME
  43. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013!
  44. THE UNDERGROUND HISTORY AS WE BRIEFLY LOOK BACK AND THEN CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
  45. BYE BYE BIG KAHUNA
  46. A LOOK AT NV CHAMPAGNE – IS IT REALLY DIFFERENT THIS TIME?
  47. FAKE WINES IN CHINA - THE BEAT GOES ON
  48. 2011 BURGUNDY – THE SURPRISE VINTAGE
  49. THE MARRIAGE BLEND
  50. LOOKING FOR OLD WINE WITH IMPECCABLE PROVENANCE?
  51. WINE FRAUD AND A WINE DETECTIVE - THE STORY OF DON CORNWELL
  52. HISTORIC VINEYARD SOCIETY
  53. DON’T GET YOUR KNICKERS IN A TWIST!
  54. THE BLENDING GAME - IS IT TIME FOR THREE BUCK CHUCK?
  55. EVERYTHING YOU HAVE BEEN DYING TO KNOW ABOUT NEWLY RELEASED CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS!
  56. COUNTERFEIT WINE AND THE ROLE OF CHINA
  57. THE JUDGMENT OF PRINCETON
  58. WHEN TO TASTE, DRINK, & ENJOY YOUNG WINES & WHAT ABOUT ROSÉ?
  59. THE VINEYARD OR THE WINEMAKING? WHAT REALLY MATTERS?
  60. BLENDING GAME PREVIEW
  61. PREDICTING THE FUTURE!
  62. AMATEUR NIGHT AT THE WINE FOLLIES: THE ANSWER WAS LYING IN PLAIN SIGHT
  63. THE PERFECT WINE?
  64. ATTENTION COSTCO WINE SHOPPERS: WHEN IS A ROSÉ NOT A ROSÉ?
  65. NAPA VALLEY WINES – JUST WHEN I THOUGHT WE HAD SEEN EVERYTHING!
  66. THE WINE FRAUD STORY – THE BEAT GOES ON!
  67. DO WINE AND TOILET PAPER HAVE ANYTHING IN COMMON?
  68. WINE JUSTICE STRIKES!
  69. FOODIES FIGHTING FOR FOIE!
  70. CALLING ALL WINE INVESTORS
  71. ONE WINEDRINKER’S OBSERVATIONS OVER NEARLY 30 YEARS: TWO FACES OF FRAUD? MORE TO COME?
  72. NEWS FLASH -- NEW ALCOHOL WARNING LABELS FOR WINE MAY SOON BE ISSUED!
  73. ROSÉ IS THE PERFECT ANTI WINE
  74. AN ENIGMA WRAPPED IN A RIDDLE – CAN AN UGLY DUCKLING BECOME A SWAN?
  75. STOP THE WINE PRESS! THE FBI HAS MOVED TO STOP WINE FRAUD!
  76. 2004 WHITE BURGUNDIES: PREMOX OR NOT? THE BEAT GOES ON!
  77. GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS
  78. WHAT’S ULLAGE GOT TO DO WITH IT? - THE CURIOUS CASE OF 1928 LA GAFFELIÉRE NAUDES
  79. LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE!
  80. WINE FRAUD – LIGHTNING STRIKES!
  81. WINE FRAUD – CAVEAT EMPTOR!
  82. BIRDS OF A FEATHER - LAUGHABLE WINE DESCRIPTIONS
  83. TIS THE SEASON!
  84. WHAT’S IN YOUR WINE BOTTLE?
  85. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!
  86. A NEW WINE FOR THE HOLIDAYS THAT HAS EVERYONE BUZZED
  87. WHAT IS A WINE CONSUMER TO DO?
  88. IS IT DRINK NOW AND PAY LATER? YOU BET YOUR SWEET BIPPY, BUT BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!
  89. BE THE MASTER OF YOUR DOMAIN!
  90. TAKE A DIFFERENT VIEW THAT IS EASY ON YOUR PALATE AND ON YOUR WALLET
  91. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL - OCTOBER 2011
  92. Z IS FOR ZINFANDEL
  93. A NOTE FROM DARRELL CORTI
  94. THE BIRDS ARE STILL FLOCKING – WATCH OUT BELOW!
  95. SOME MORE BIG HOUSE RELATIVES PAY A VISIT TO THE UNDERGROUND
  96. WINE & CLOSURE
  97. YIKES! THE TIDE MAY BE GOING OUT SOON! WHO’S SWIMMING NAKED?
  98. WHAT IS WINE?
  99. HALLELUJAH!
  100. BLENDING GAME -- BLENDING MAN TO THE RESCUE
  101. HEARD ON THE GRAPEVINE
  102. NOW APPEARING AT A STORE NEAR YOU - DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA STARRING MALBEC & TORRONTES
  103. BLENDING PARTY – A NEW TWIST – FLASH DASH – WHAT'S IN YOUR GLASS?
  104. BBBB TRIBUTE
  105. OMG - IS IT THE END OF THE WORLD OR NOT?
  106. TAKE THE WINE CHALLENGE - BLENDING IS YOUR FRIEND!
  107. THE BORDEAUX ROAD AHEAD - A BUBBLE, A SPEED BUMP, OR BLISS?
  108. HERE AT LAST – BEYOND 100 POINTS – NIRVANA!
  109. BIRDS OF A FEATHER…
  110. FLASH! BIG NUMBERS WINE CRITIC ISSUES REPORT ON 2009 BEAUJOLAIS
  111. SPÄTBURGUNDER – WHAT IS IT?
  112. PINOT GRIS. IT'S FOR ME. DO YOU KNOW PINOT GRIS?
  113. THE BEAT GOES ON AND ON … “SUM YUNG VINE” X 2
  114. AND THE BEAT GOES ON…
  115. 100-POINT WINES – GET ‘EM WHILE YOU CAN!
  116. STORAGE, STORAGE, STORAGE!
  117. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! IT'S TIME TO GIVE THANKS AND ENJOY FOOD AND WINE!
  118. WOW! 2009 RED BURGUNDIES. STAY TUNED!!
  119. TIME TO GET INTO BEAUJOLAIS!
  120. A BARGAIN AT WHAT PRICE?
  121. VINOUS DRIVE-BY -- IT'S THE DRIVE-BY SIP AND SPIT!
  122. WINE TASTING OF THE MILLENNIUM
  123. ANSWER TO WINE TASTING OF THE MILLENNIUM
  124. PAST LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  125. DEAR SANTA, WE'VE GOT A LITTLE LIST
  126. THE UNDERGROUND IS BACK!
  127. WHY THE “UNDERGROUND” WINELETTER? ARE WE TERRORISTS?

PINOT GRIS. IT’S FOR ME. DO YOU KNOW PINOT GRIS?

John Tilson • 2/4/11        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

I doubt that very many people do know Pinot Gris. That’s a shame. It is one of the most food-friendly white wines (especially when domestic wines are considered) and it is generally very affordable. So with that introduction, let me first provide a bit of history.

In the Middle Ages Pinot Gris appeared in the Burgundy region of France as a white mutation of the red Pinot Noir. Today Pinot Gris is grown in nearly 20 countries, but under different names. Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the same grape with two different names. There are four primary growing areas. In Italy and California it is known as Pinot Grigio. In France and Oregon it is know as Pinot Gris. In other areas it has a variety of other names such as Rulander in Germany and Austria.

Having said that, the wines from the same grape grown in diverse areas are really different. For me, in the Alsace region of France, Pinot Gris is quite rich and very fruity with a nice spiciness. However, they often tend to be very intense and can be quite high in alcohol. They are also often made in a late harvest, sweet style which is very lush and attractive as dessert wines. The Pinot Gris from Oregon is at the other end of the spectrum. They are lighter, have a more subtle fruit and a nice crispness. They emphasize finesse over power. The Pinot Grigios from Italy are generally light, fresh, and easy to drink. Some of the better ones have more complexity and the lesser ones tend to be very light, but still very quaffable. Those from California tend to be fruitier. Those are my general impressions, but you should really try them for yourself. Have a buffet dinner party with a wide variety of foods (such as those suggested later) and have a wine from each area. Match them with the different foods and draw your own conclusions. If you do have one of the richer wines from Alsace (not the late harvest dessert wines), you might try those with something liked grilled sausage.

But of all the different styles, if I were to choose an overall favorite, it would be Oregon Pinot Gris. It’s for me! The wines generally have a lovely, elegant, subtle fruit with nice complexity and crispness. They are terrific with fish (especially salmon) and are great with pork and chicken as well as seafood salads and chicken salads. The one described below is an outstanding example.

2009 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris Willamette Valley Oregon.

Oregon Pinot Gris Pinot Gris was first introduced to the U.S. in the Willamette Valley. David Lett, a pioneer vintner in the area and the founder of Eyrie Vineyards, planted the first vines here in 1966. The back label of this Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris has very useful consumer information. This is something I think more wine producers should do. The back label says in part “… Small amounts of Muscat, for enhanced floral aromas, and Pinot Blanc, for greater mouth feel, were added as was some barrel-fermented Pinot Gris for a kiss of toast and richness….” This recipe really works as the wine shows the finesse and style that exemplify Oregon Pinot Gris.

It is pale yellow in color and has a gorgeous perfume with hints of pear and apple and floral and spice nuances. Refined and elegant, yet complex, the wine has flavors of apple and pear with a hint of citrus and spice. Very tasty and extremely well balanced, it has a nice crispness and a lovely finish. The alcohol is 12.5% making it extremely compatible with a wide variety of lighter foods, especially fish. This is one to buy –- Outstanding.  $12.99 Best Buy ***

In Vino Veritas,

John Tilson

Post a Comment

2 comments for “PINOT GRIS. IT’S FOR ME. DO YOU KNOW PINOT GRIS?”

  1. Thanks for the plug on our Pinot Gris. Like you, I really enjoy this wine and very much appreciate your insight and explanation of what PG really is.

    Cheers to another glass~
    Leslie

    Posted by Leslie Savage | February 16, 2011, 2:59 pm
  2. Thanks Leslie. Pinot Gris surely will have a wider following as time goes on. I look forward to continue to taste the wines with an eye especially for those that offer harmony and balance. Please keep me updated.
    In Vino Veritas,
    John

    Posted by John Tilson | February 22, 2011, 4:53 pm

Post a Comment