Posts Tagged ‘Pinot Grigio’

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 160: Zio for Me, Yo

April 8, 2015

In this episode, Jeff tries a couple of Italian wine samples from an American director…

Wine Tasted:

Ziobaffa 2013 Pinot Grigio and 2012 Toscana

Ziobaffa 2013 Pinot Grigio and 2012 Toscana

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite 10 – 15 dollar Italian wine right now?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

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Remember Los Alamos

July 14, 2014

Kara and I spent this past weekend in Buellton, California for the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference.

Needless to say, after three days of tasting all of the wine that Santa Barbara County has to offer, wine has been the last thing on my mind…

Then, I started making dinner…

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It all started when I marinated some salmon filets and broccolini with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

While preheating the grill, I looked in the fridge for something to drink.

I really wasn’t in the mood for beer.  I’m not a soda kind of guy. Water wasn’t gonna do the trick.

Almond milk?  Nah!

There was really only one thing in the fridge that was going to work…

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Bianchi 2012 Los Alamos Vineyard Pinot Grigio

At the end of the first Live Wine Blogging session at the Wine Bloggers Conference (which I’ll get into in more detail another day), there were a bunch of leftover bottles that were given to the participants.  Lucky for me, I got sent home with the Bianchi 2012 Los Alamos Vineyard Pinot Grigio…

Los Alamos…

I remember Los Alamos…

Santa Barbara County is broken up into two major AVA’s.  The Santa Ynez Valley to the south, and the Santa Maria Valley to the north.

On Friday night, as part of the Wine Bloggers Conference, participants got to explore different areas of Santa Barbara County. Of course, I’ll get a little deeper into this excursion on another day, but the short story is that my group got to visit Bien Nacido Vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley.

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The setting sun over Bien Nacido Vineyards.

Now…

While riding the bus north on the 101 from Buellton in the Santa Ynez Valley to Bien Nacido Vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley, we drove through Los Alamos… an up-and-coming wine-growing region within Santa Barbara County.  Much like Santa Maria, and the western end of Santa Ynez, there is a strong coastal influence to Los Alamos, making this a perfect place for beautiful cool-climate wines of distinction.

Now, let’s get into this wine in particular…

Color: Typical of most Pinot Grigios you’re bound to encounter, the Bianchi is rocking the straw yellow.

Nose: Pretty notes of honeysuckle with lime accents, all rounded out with a variety of river rocks.

Taste: Fresh.  This wine is fresh.  There’s a real good freshness to this.  There is a good petrol characteristic up front, surrounded by a saline solution of lemons, limes, and grapefruit pith.  Did I mention that this was fresh?

Score: Pinot Grigio typically gets a bad rap.  Most of the mass-produced grocery store swill comes across as watered-down Gatorade to me… which makes it great for a hot day, but doesn’t really bring anything else to the table.  The Bianchi, on the other hand, has a great balance of freshness (yeah, I said it) and complexity that promotes the true versatility of this wine.  Hot day? Light food?  Good friends and conversation?  This is the wine for you. 89+

Oh yeah…

Back to the salmon!

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The salmon, while a bit overcooked, brought the richness that you would expect from a fatty fish. The broccolini, while slightly scorched at the tips, was hecka tasty.

So…

The next time you’re in the mood for fresh and lively wine on a hot day, which is heads-and-shoulders above the typical housewife swill…

Remember Los Alamos.

Take it away, Pee-Wee…

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite domestic Pinot Grigio?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Back to the Castle

June 5, 2013

So…

Kara made some amazing Macaroni and Cheese tonight, and I just happened to have another wine sample to review, so I figured I’d pair the two.

Check out the wine…

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Castello di Amorosa 2012 Mendocino County Pinot Grigio

And the Mac and Cheese…

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Kara used Gruyere and Cheddar in this bad boy. Yum!

The Castello di Amorosa 2012 Mendocino County Pinot Grigio consists of 100% Stainless Steel Tank-Aged Pinot Grigio.  It comes in at 14.5% alcohol, and is available at the winery (as well as in their extensive online store) for $21.

Color: Very pale yellow.  Think of the color of hay.

Nose: Massive amounts of honeysuckle (maybe due to the 3.8 g/L of residual sugar) create a nice backdrop for the green apple and honeydew fruits.  The nose isn’t overly sweet.  There are plenty of wet rocks to balance everything out.

Taste: There is a surprisingly nice petrol note to this wine which provides for a very fun, viscous mouthfeel.  As with most Pinot Grigios, there is a brightly acidic backbone to this wine that delivers a variety of citrus fruit flavors of lemon and lime zest.  There is a nice combination of honey and minerality at play here too.

Score: I get it.  Castello di Amorosa makes wines consisting of mainly Italian varieties of grapes, and no self-respecting “Italian” winery would ever label a bottle as “Pinot Gris”, but… This is not one of those ordinary, 20-dollar, flat-lemon-lime-soda-tasting, Italian Pinot Grigios that have been taking over your local super market in recent years.  This drinks like one of those rich, subtle, and intriguing Oregonian Pinot Gris that I have been grooving on in recent months.  Stylistically, these guys have done everything right with the grape they call the “Grey Pine”.  At 87+ points, you may want to introduce this Pinot Grigio to your favorite housewife.

With the Food: Kara’s Mac n’ Cheese is killer!  Creamy.  Cheesy.  Zesty.  And the combination of the soft pasta and the crunchy bread crumbs makes it a textural sensation.  When paired with the Pinot Grigio the flavor of the dish transforms to that of a pear, walnut, and gorgonzola pizza.  Fantastic!

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio?  Leave a comment, and tell us about it.


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