Hello wine lovers, today, Tuesday June 9th, at Ralphs Downtown we are tasting great Pinot Grigio from 5pm to 8pm in our wine café.
Pinot Grigio can be grown in California as well as in Italy. California has a Mediterranean climate like that of Italy. Pinot Grigio is not a blended white wine like many people think, it is its own varietal. The popularity of this wine grew around the late 90’s as a light alternative to Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Grigio wines characteristics are light lemon notes and floral with a silky mouth-feel. The acids are balanced in the wine due to warm climate in the growing region. Warm growing regions allow the sugars in the grape to build with intensity creating a sweet balanced wine with great flavor and floral notes. Warm climate is essential to get this Pinot Grigio to ripen. To the east of Monterrey towards Paso Robles along the connector roads you can find Pinot Grigio. Many of the Northern California wineries offer a fine selection of this easy growing wine. The Sterling winery in Calistoga source’s from their southern most vineyards to produce a crisp Pinot Grigio. Estancia Winery sources from the Monterrey area to produce Pinot Grigio also referred to as Pinot Gris. Pinot Grigio simply means gray. This color does not refer to the wine but the color of the grape bundles while on the vine. I do not think that a Gray wine would be too appetizing on the table.
Foods that can be served with Pinot Grigio are long and wonderful. Since Pinot Grigio has been served, most dishes from the Mediterranean have been served with this versatile wine. Just this last Mothers Day I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Maggianos at the Grove with my mom. I ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio with dinner. My choice of entrée was chicken stuffed cannelloni with spinach served in an Alfredo Sauce. Because of the heavy dish the Pinot Grigio tasted clean and crisp preparing my palate for the next bite of food. The balanced acidity and slight lemon and sweetness set my mouth clean and allowed me to experience all the flavors in the dish. Even with the stuffed mushroom appetizers and the chopped salad the wine showed incredible versatility. My mom’s main dish was veal ravioli, also served in a white sauce. She decided to order a red Zinfandel to accompany her meal but tasted my wine and agreed it paired well with her meal equally.
I must admit I do not think a heavy red sauce with sausage or meatballs would be the appropriate pairing with this wine. Certainly a fine Tallegio cheese or an oily Parmesan cheese shaved on a cracker would work great. I would also take a chance and serve this with marinated vegetables with foccacia bread and fresh mozzarella cheese. Cold meats would be acceptable to offer as long as the meat was not too heavy. Smoked meats could play an important part of the dinner table for a light appetizer.
So, I look forward to seeing you tonight! Cheers!
Mike The Wine Guy