Seriously Good Grigio

27 Sep

There are wines that Wine People dismiss. And when I say Wine People, dare I say wine snobs? I do dare, and confess I might be one just-a-little-bit. And I am guilty of overlooking today’s grape. Is it because I’ve noticed it is the go-to white wine for a lot of my friends who aren’t Wine People/Snobs? Maybe. Well, the more I think of it, the more I realize that that’s a silly reason to dismiss a wine–if it brings people happiness, maybe I should pay attention.

I’ll stop the preliminary banter. The wine I am speaking of is Pinot Grigio. There are SERIOUSLY good Pinot Grigio wines out there, especially once you learn you can get one of higher quality–more complexity, more balance, more beauty– by looking to a Pinot Grigio from a specific appellation.

The appellation in question today is the DOC Delle Venezie, which was created in 2016 to draw out the best of Pinot Grigio from the Triveneto, aka Tre Venezia. The Delle Venezie DOC includes a few different regions: the Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia (never can I ever remember this region’s in full–somebody take my Diploma from me) and Trentino, all located in Northeast Italy.

I actually was just in one of those regions, the Veneto, in June, chilling out, the way wine people do, sucking down quite a bit of Pinot Grigio, from sunup to sundown, on the shores of Lake Garda. As one does. So Pinot Grigio was on my radar as something to rekindle my relationship with. And then I was lucky enough to be sent a couple of bottles of it from the DOC Delle Venezie, which solidified my feelings that I’d been neglecting the grape for too long.

A little terminology tutorial: DOC stands for “Denominazione d’Origine Controllata”, and is meant to ensure that if you drink a wine labeled as such-and-such DOC, that you know where it came from, what grapes it was made from, how it was made, and so on. But most of all, you can be assured that the quality of the bev in the bottle will be what you expect, what you wanted, in some situations what you NEEDED, and that you will not be disappointed because it’s a friggin’ DOC. And DOCs have STANDARDS.

DOC Delle Venezie is a standard bearer for the quality Pinot Grigio.

There are a bunch of reasons why three different regions (which in reality are not so far from each other) can lend one named denomination to the grape. In terms of climate, they all benefit from the protection of the Alps to the north. And then there are multiple rivers that flow through them. So there’s coolness to moderate sun which yayyyyy (if you are an acid-lover like me) usually means the wine will sport refreshing acidity. Flowing water also often means the terroir will be well-ventilated. Temperatures (especially when on hills) will vary from night to day leading to a long ripening span(yay ripe fruit) and acidity levels that never say die.

Now that you know a little more about the region, here’s a smidge more about the grape; let’s call it Pinot Grigio basics: The skin of the grape has a grey-pink tinge, leading to the wines having a coppery color, and in fact when more skin contact is allowed Pinot Grigio can be look like a rosé or sometimes even orange wine. Typical aromas include citrus, stone and orchard fruit. The acid tends to be elevated (see: porch pounder), and other fave pinot-tastic flavors include a certain beery-y nature as well as hints of peanuts. and sometimes flowers.

Within the Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie DOC one can be assured that yields are limited–an important part of quality control, as overcropped grapes=diminished quality. And in this DOC the wines actually undergo a tasting to make sure each bottling stands up to the regional standards. I myself tasted a couple of examples from the region and both made me happy to have Pinot Grigio in my glass.

NATALE VERGA PINOT GRIGIO DELLE VENEZIE DOC

Tart n tangy! A lot of peach yogurt vibes and traditionally PG all day–bruised fruits, peanut shells and stale beer (in a good way, trust me). Look, here is the thing: Classic Pinot Grigio is like a baseball game beyond those last two tasting notes. It has peaks and lulls and you’ll come back for more.

ALLEGRINI CORTE GIARA PINOT GRIGIO DELLE VENEZIE 2020

Lighter and fresher and fun. More citrus-y and less lees’y although there was a hint of shells and lactic quality to it, if that makes sense. But most of all, the acidity was clean and clear and I was drinking it with girlfriends on a hot hot day and we couldn’t get enough.

TAKE HOME MISSIVE

Learn how to find the good. Drink the good. Do good. Be you. And if you are a Pinot Grigio lover, this post was for you.

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