The average consumer knows Pinot Gris very well but usually as Pinot Grigio, an often easy-drinking white from northeastern Italy. In this part of the world, it’s a wine that pairs well with a variety of foods and nearly anything from the sea, all the while showing its crisp, sweet fruit flavors, brisk acidity and quaffable personality. However, in other parts of the world, such as Alsace, France, Pinot Gris shakes off its light heart and dons a shroud of structure and spice. We’re talking about serious wines that can sometimes require time in the cellar to fully express their potential.
When it comes to Pinot Gris, it’s important to know what you’re buying because each style opens a whole new variety of food pairing ideas and roadblocks. In the last few weeks, I’ve tasted Pinot Gris from Italy, France, Oregon, California and even delved into “orange” style wines (which often use Pinot Gris). In each case, I have been pairing them with a variety of recipes to find what pairs best.
What I’ve learned is that Pinot Gris is well worth my attention and yours as well. This is not just a light-hearted wine from Northern Italy.
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