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Tag Archives: pinot grigio

What’s new with pinot grigo?

What's new with pinot grigo?

It’s simple in taste and cheap in price; hence the American love of pinot grigio.

Quite a lot actually, as a story I wrote for the Beverage Media trade magazine explains. This is not to say that pinot grigio itself has changed much. It remains a cheap, simple white wine preferred by women of a certain age, and the mostly Italian imports that dominate the category sell millions and millions of cases without much of an effort.

Rather, there is an on-going campaign by producers and importers to get Americans to look differently at pinot grigio, whether it’s Oregon and California pinot gris such as J, which a little more expensive and has more fruit, or Italian wines in the $12 to $15 range like Bollini and Alois Lageder.

The story’s highlights, after the jump:

Fourth of July wine 2013

Fourth of July wine 2013

I’m drinking a less alcoholic, less tannic red wine because it’s hot out. But I can’t show my face, because that’s not a manly wine choice.

It’s hot. It’s sticky. So how many of you will drink the biggest, most tannic, most alcoholic red wine possible to celebrate July 4?

Which, of course, is fine with the Wine Curmudgeon, since I believe that everyone should drink what they want, and rules be damned. But, if you don’t mind a suggestion, live dangerously. Try something lighter and, dare I say, more pleasurable – a porch wine, even. Because the only thing I ask is that wine drinkers be willing to try something different.

Which leads to these suggestion, after the jump:

Wine of the week: J Winery Pinot Gris 2012

J Pinot Gris 2012I just finished a trade magazine story about pinot grigio, detailing what people are drinking, why they’re drinking it, and what’s in the grape’s future. One of the editor’s instructions: Make sure to include the J pinot gris in the story.

It’s easy to see why. The J ($15, sample, 13.8%) is one of the great wine success stories of the past five or six years – a very well made, reasonably priced wine that does exactly what it is supposed to do.

Pinot grigio and pinot gris are the same grape; the difference in name points to a difference in style. Pinot grigios, mostly Italian, have little fruit and a minerally finish, while pinot gris, like those from Alsace and Oregon, are fruitier.

The J is somewhere in the middle. Look for some lime fruit in the front and a peach pit sort of finish, but there is more to the wine than a wine writer’s description. This is not a simple, full fruit ahead wine. Rather, it’s about as long and elegant as a wine at this price gets, one that you sip and and then, suddenly, notice that the bottle is empty.

Serve chilled, on its own or with summer food (and especially if your air conditioning goes out just as the Texas summer is beginning). Highly recommended.

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