Pinot Grigio is the Italian variant of the French Pinot Gris. What is the difference? For some tasters, not much; but for others, the Italian version is simply brighter, crisper and more citrus-y. Pinot Grigio is what Sommeliers refer to as a “fruity” variety. The aroma of Pinot Grigio is dominated by the soul of appealing, fresh fruit.
Textbook examples of Pinot Grigio are grown in Niagara, just as they are in Italy’s Fruili and Alto Adige areas. Cooler temperatures in these locales highlight the vibrant acidity of a Pinot Grigio that makes these wines an evocative backdrop for both detailed cuisine and refreshing sipping.
Surprisingly, Pinot Grigio grapes, growing on the vine, have the appearance of a “black” grape variety. While Pinot Grigio is technically always a “white” wine, it can display some colour and here is where the characteristics of this wine get interesting. When Pinot Grigio is grown for a bulk market seeking a nondescript wine, it usually presents as an innocuous white wine whose character is lackluster at best. While that is certainly true, let it be known that Pinot Grigio can certainly be made into a high-quality wine. King’s Court Estate Winery’s Pinot Grigio displays a tinge of colour; a slight “oranging” or “bricking” which is absent in other young whites. For wine professionals, this colouring is a solid “tell” for Pinot Grigio in blind tastings.
The genius of Pinot Grigio resides in its versatility. Some say that the flavour spectrum may even rival that of the ubiquitous Chardonnay. Pinot Grigio grapes make for an easy sipping wine, especially in the hot days of summer. Chilled and refreshing, it also doubles as a quenching aperitif! As a foil to vinaigrettes and goat cheeses, Pinot Grigio is nearly unbeatable. The brisk acidity of this wine against the bright, sour flavours of these foods could seem like “piling-on”; but in their similarity, they marry so naturally on our palates. This is obviously true with, for example, Caprese salads, either in their native presentation, or as a more stylized offering, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pinot Grigio allows many foods to seem both familiar and interesting at the same time.
When Sommeliers describe the flavours of a cool climate Pinot Grigio, they include terms like lime leaf citrus, honeydew melon, Mandarin orange and hard or unripe pear. The technique of macerating, or leaving the skins to join with the fermenting wine, tends to impart more interesting flavour characteristics as well as a tinge of colour. The most prominent flavour nuance in Pinot Grigio is described as mildly smoky or “fume”.
No matter what the weather, Pinot Grigio complements a day’s meal easily with little thought necessary.
See our selection below and order some Pinot Grigio today!