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Pinot Grigio tickles the taste buds of wine expert

Fri 07 Aug 2009 18:06


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Pinot Grigio is a very popular wine just now, but a lot of people don’t know that much about its origins.

Pinot Grigio hails from Italy, while Pinot Gris, which is from the same grape, is from France.

However, Pinot Grigio tends to be a lighter and easier to drink wine, while Pinot Gris is a heavier food wine with a richer style.

Generally from the north of Italy, Pinot Grigio are hugely popular in the UK and the USA, selling by the bucket load.

It is generally a good wine and tends to be a safe choice – if it was an ice cream flavour it would be vanilla. There are some really good Pinot Grigios, but around 90 per cent of them taste pretty much the same.

Wine expert Tom Cannavan has picked three of his favourites, to show you how to get a Pinot Grigio with a bit of a difference.

Here are his selections:

1. Recas Pinot Grigio 2008, priced at £4.98 at Wine Rack (or two for £8 until September 8th)

This wine is from Romania, which is one of the world's top 10 biggest wine producers. But since the overthrow of the dictator Ceausescu in 1989, it has been a long struggle for wineries to reclaim vineyards and modernise their facilities.

Now, companies like the Anglo-Romanian Recas are producing excellent, modern wines, like this one.

This wine, which has fruity flavours of apples, pears and lemons, goes well with fish, chicken or summer salads, but is also delicious to drink  on its own.

2. The Co-operative Marlborough Pinot Grigio 2008, priced at £7.99 at The Co-operative.

Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest winemaking region, and it’s best known for its terrific Sauvignon Blanc, but they are expanding into other grapes in case the Sauvignon bubble bursts.

This Pinot Grigio has a creamier, richer character than many cheaper wines from Italy, and also a little exotic fruitiness.

it has flavours of mangoes, peaches and rose petals, and goes really well with creamy pasta dishes or shellfish pasta dishes, as well as smoked salmon.

3. Cave de Turckheim Pinot Gris 2007, priced at £8.99 from Majestic (on offer at £8.49 at the moment)

This wine hails from Alsace in France. The cool, northerly region (which was once part of Germany) is top class territory for aromatic white wines like Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris - the French name for the Pinot Grigio grape.

With this wine, expect a richer, fuller style of PG, with plenty of alcohol and weight.

It has tastes of white flowers, peaches and nectarines and goes really well with poultry, veal or pork, especially in creamy or mustard sauces.

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