Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pinot gris

  • pinot gris is a white wine grape variety.
  • pinot - French for "pine cone", perhaps because of the shape of the grape clusters.
  • gris - French for "grey".
  • known as pinot grigio in Italy.
  • usually pinot grigio in California, pinot gris in Oregon.
  • the grape can have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance.
  • grows best in cool climates, and matures relatively early with high sugar levels.
  • the wine colour varies from a deep golden yellow to copper and even a light shade of pink.
  • can be bottled and sold within 4–12 weeks of fermentation.
  • probably originates from the Burgundy region of France.
  • unreliable yields caused it to fall from favour in the 18/19th centuries.
  • first grown in North America in 1966 in Oregon.
  • its DNA is very similar to pinot noir.
Professional Friends of Wine describe the wines made from this grape:
Pinot gris /pinot grigio is usually delicately fragrant and mildly floral with lightly lemon-citrus flavors. Depending upon ripeness at harvest and vinification technique, pinot gris can be tangy and light, or quite rich, round and full bodied. says that
Pinot grigio pairs well with light dishes that are still on the "thick" side, like chicken in a rich white sauce, or eggplant with heavy spices. says of the wine:
Often described as having a floral, smoky, honey-tinged flavor with a minor citrus kick, pinot gris wine is a dry, crisp white wine often high in acidity and low in tannins. Pinot gris should be consumed within two years of its vintage, and pairs well with seafood, pork and chicken, if served sans acidic embellishments.
In 2007, the New York Times said:
Oregon pinot gris can be a wine of character and interest. The good ones have aromas and flavors of flowers, almonds and minerals. They have grace and texture, and are lively enough to go well with food. Best of all, they almost always cost less than $20.

Here is a video about pinot gris that tastes four different wines - don't be put off by the whacky intro - it gets better.