I haven't kept track but Pinot Grigio may be our most blogged about subject here, which is ironic considering for half of my long career in the business, I've had no use for the stuff. That would be the first half of the career, of course. Then the gradual adjustments and accommodations happen in life and one accepts that big red (and white) wines aren't really the be-all and end-all of all things vino. Sometimes less is more. Ergo, Pinot Grigio.
The marketplace will also change your wine values. About ten years ago Pinot Grigio surpassed Chardonnay in sales here for the first time. Chardonnay had always been our best selling white wine before that. I remember telling an industry salesman about the transition only to hear in response, "Well, that's sad."
We're prompted to write about Pinot Grigio today for a couple reasons. Last Thursday at the weekly tasting we featured the 2017 Tenuta Maccan from Friuli and it was wonderful. One of the most common wine adjectives bandied about around here is "smooth" and I hate it. What the heck does "smooth" mean anyway? Well, in the case of Maccan, it is most applicable. Whereas some wines have distinct stages from start to finish, this one just glides through the process with nothing impeding its flow. It is smoothness.
Beyond the indelible impression Maccan made, the second reason for writing is the incontrovertible shift in consumer tastes within the Pinot Grigio category. Back in the bad old days the pinot we got from Italy could have doubled as nail polish remover. But it was cold and wet and cheap. Now we have so many wonderful examples at every price point and the savvy pinot consumer has gotten the word. So just like the smoothness shown in the Maccan tasting the gradual transition from ten dollar pinots to twenty dollar bottles has been similarly smooth.
The Maccan is a $16.99 retail, by the way, which represents the lower end of this higher end pinot category we're talking about. Not too long ago there were branded elite wines that positioned themselves upwards from thirty dollars but have now comedown ten dollars or so. They now represent the higher range of superior pinot pricing. So if this schema is accurate you don't have to get reamed to enjoy your fine light dry white wine.
Please join us on Thursday the 21st of March at 5pm when Cherie Rubio presents a tasting of new Spanish wines to include a red, white and rose along with a truly great Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. Then on the 28th Morgan Miller returns with a tasting from his fine wine portfolio followed by Dominique Chambon with samples from his fine French and Italian book.