Don’t count out Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio,also known as Pinot Gris, is a popular white wine that comes in a wide range of different varieties. It has been derided by many as being low quality but this is due to the skills of the producer and mass production for supermarkets. In the right hands, the grape can be used to create some truly stunning wines. There are even some made in Alsace in north-eastern France that have the appearance of white and the taste of red wine. As with all wines, it is a matter of choosing carefully and opting for quality if you want a flavourful product.
The best Pinot Grigio wines are produced in Italy in the Friuli, Veneto and Alto Adige regions as well as the Alsace region of France where it is known as Pinot Gris. In most cases the wine is dry; it is only sweet when it is either low quality or the rare, slightly sweeter varieties.
Pinot Grigio typically has medium to high acidity and comes with a variety of different flavours. Fruits like lime, green apple, lemon and white nectarine are common. These depend on how ripe the grapes are when they are picked. The higher quality Pinot Gris varieties also have honey flavours, spice notes and slight mineral traces that produce an impressive flavour. These occur because the grapes are picked much later in the season.
These wines are best served cold at around 7 degrees Celsius. A large number of whites taste great when taken out of the refrigerator but with Pinot Grigio you won’t be able to get it down to the required temperature in this way. The best method of accomplishing it is to take the wine out of the fridge an hour or so before serving and store it in an ice bucket so it has time to chill slowly.
The acidity of the wine means it will work best with fresh vegetables, fish, seafood and lighter meals. It is particularly good with shellfish and salads too. Tomato and citrus foods pair with the wine less successfully, because they bring additional acidity. The more complex, rarer wines from Alsace are excellent dessert wines and can really cap off a great meal.