There may be no other grape like Pinot Grigio, the unlikely mega star behind our industry’s most popular white wine. It’s not the first choice of connoisseurs, but has been firmly embraced by the masses. At the time of this writing I’m not sure how many different labels we offer in the store but I know it is much more than any other type of wine. So this week when I found myself ordering two new Pinot Grigio wines, plus a nifty 500ml tetra pack, the question is when is enough enough?
One of the new wines is from Zenato, located in the Venito region of Northern Italy. This estate made their name famous with the Valpolicella Rippassa and brings the same integrity to Pinot Grigio. Available in both 750ml ($10) and 1.5L ($17), it makes a smart alternative to the mass market Ca’Vit brand offering freshness and a generous fruit driven character.
The other new wine is from Concilio in the Trentino region of Northern Italy ($12 750ml), whose Pinot Grigio offers a decidedly more complex style. The wine develops beautifully from flavors of ripe apples, to a creamy nuance towards the finish, complimented by a luscious texture. Simply a delight, enjoyable by itself yet with enough moxy to pair with lighter fare.
The unparalleled dominance of this particular grape has come at a price however, in that the many wonderful regional Italian Whites have practically fallen out of the market. Do you remember Soave? We are representing a fantastic DOC example from Suavia that is both dry and elegant with engaging minerality delivering enough verve to stand in for your favorite Sauvignon Blanc when you need a change of pace. We can only offer it, the rest is up to you to try it.