Try A New Wine – Part III
The Try A New Wine Series continues with white wine varietals.
If you are a Pinot Grigio fan: PINOT GRIGIO is an Italian white wine of the same name which is also is the Italian name of the white grape used to make the wine; and PINOT GRIS is the name of the white wine made of the same grape variety that is grown in other wine regions.
Italy and Alsace were the major producers of this wine. Italy’s Pinot Grigio is a light to medium-bodied wine with high acidity and with citrus and green fruit flavors.
In the early 1990’s Oregon became a well known region for producing quality Pinot Gris.
Flavors of Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris:
Citrus Fruits: lemon, grapefruit, tangerine
Green Fruits: green apple, pear
Tropical Fruits: melon
Other White Wines to try: Pinot Gris, Gruener Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc
PINOT GRIS — is the white clone of the red Pinot Noir grape. In French “gris” translates to grey, hence the Pinot Gris can sometimes have a color that is described as a bluish-grey. I have not yet seen that color Pinot Gris so I guess I need to buy and try more pinot gris.
Fruit: lemon, apple, pear
Oak: vanilla, sweet wood, almond, smoke
Oregon’s Pinot Gris is medium-bodied with a creamy quality. Wines from France/Alsace region produce full-bodied Pinot Gris with spicy tropical fruit flavors.
GRUENER VELTLINER — is naturally high in acidity. It is very food-friendly and one of the few wines that will pair well with the two vegetables that are considered most difficult to pair with wine — the artichoke and asparagus. So those who are vegan or vegetarian can now find a wine to enjoy with these difficult vegetables.
The naturally high acidity in a quality gruener veltliner gives it the potential for aging well.
Fruits: citrus fruits and exotic tropical fruits
There is a natural characteristic of white pepper.
SAUVIGNON BLANC — is a wine with flavors and aromas that are more vegetal or herbal than fruity. This popular varietal is produced in France, Austria, California, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, as well as many other regions around the globe. In California and Washington State you will find this wine labeled Fume Blanc. These regions produce quality wines each with a different flavor profile. There is one for every palate.
Depending on the climate, sauvignon blanc’s flavors can be herbal and vegetal with aggressive grassy flavors or fruity with tropical fruit flavors.
Herbal: green pepper, straw, hay, green tea, green herbs, cut grass, meadow
If Oaked: melon, soft fig
Fruit: goosberry, grapefruit, peach, melon, apricot
When you try a ‘new’ white wine what is it you like or don’t like about it? Is it too tart ( it would have more lemon/lime citrusy flavors); can you taste the fruits (apple, pear, peach, etc.); and/or can you smell the herbal notes (straw, green herbs, cut grass)? Knowing these likes and/or dislikes can help you choose a wine you will enjoy.