I and every other wine expert in a retail shop must get this question at least 25-30 times per day. The problem is there isn’t a simple answer. It would be rude to answer the question “Where are your Pinot Grigios” by saying… “Everywhere in the store” So let me break this down and explain why it is not as easy as escorting you over to one Aisle.
PINOT GRIS (Pinot Greeeeee) Started in Alsace France. Just over the Alps in Italy Pinot Gris is pronounced Pinot Grigio. The grape is the same but the style and flavor profile is totally light years apart. So you have Alsace Pinot Gris or Grigio with it’s flinty, ripe pear flavors and crisp acidity and glycerin texture and then you have Italian Pinot Grigio which is what most want except the Italians who have so many other more complex white wines but Americans just think of Pinot Grigio. The Style of Italian Pinot Grigio especially mass produced ones (Which probably aren’t even 100% Pinot Grigio ) are basically bland boring and sometimes tart and acidic. I think the average consumer got tired of asking for Chardonnay or got sick of the flavor profile and oak and sounded Sophisticated to ask for Pinot Grigio. Sounds fancy I guess??
Now enter Willamette Valley (Willamette ….Damn it..is a good way to practice saying it correctly) in Oregon where they always refer to the wine as Pinot Gris and never blend the grape and lean towards somewhere in the middle of Alsace in Style with the Acidity of Italian Style. Oregon is still my First Personal Choice, Alsace is my second (after, all it is the original home of the grape) and then the least favorite on my list is Italian. There are just too many more interesting affordable white wines and grapes in Italy such as Fiano de Avellino , Greco di Tufo, Areneis, Cortese, Grachettio, Grillo, Coda Volpe, that are so delicious, Pinot Grigio is the last thing I think of from Italy and it is the same for most Italians when it comes to White Wines.
In ABC Fine Wine And Spirits you will find this in 2 sections. One in France (Alsace) and Two in the Organic Wine Section as Don’t Panic, It’s Organic. Domaine Zinck makes very affordable delicious rich Pinot Gris on most vintages. Rich on the palate with flavors of pears and citrus and a nice mineral packed dry finish.
“PINOT FOR THE PEOPLE” Just like their delicious Pinot Noirs , husband and wife winemakers Stewart Boedecker and Athena Pappas produce a great 100% Pinot Gris from Oregon that tastes in most vintages like biting into the ripest Comice Pear, with hints of Melon and Citrus. $15.99 and plain delicious
Carlton Cellars with only 1292 Cases produced makes one heck of an Oregon Style Meets Alsace Pinot Gris in Oregon. I really like this wine and leans towards a little less ripe fruit but lots of solid flavors and a long long finish.
I left out Italian Pinot Grigio but if you want we have about 20 of them and Collalto is one of my favorites from Princess Isabella Collalto at $12.99 and I also left out Jules Taylor from Marlborough New Zealand…Yes New Zealand and it is one heck of a Pinot Gris but SMH…Can you now see why the answer to “Where are Your Pinot Grigios ” a more complex question than you thought??
No worries at ABC Fine Wine and Spirits. We have qualified and knowledgeable Wine And Spirits Specialists like myself in Sunrise, Florida, that can lead you towards the style of Pinot Gris/Grigio that you are looking for. I still vote for Oregon!! Grape-fully yours, Larry