Pinot Gris, also known as Pinot Grigio when grown and vinified in Italy, can be found all over the world. From Australia to Oregon to Alsace, these grapes sprout up in their little pinecone-shaped clusters and, eventually, treat end consumers to a white wine that is practically synonymous with summer.
The style, texture, and tasting notes differ depending on the region and the producer, but for the purposes of our list today, we’re going to go Italiano and concentrate our efforts on the beautiful representations of this wine that are produced therein.
1. The Beachhouse Pinot Grigio, 2013 – $10
Not every wine has to win a copious amount of awards and stack up ratings like firewood in order to be worthy of a place at your picnic, and this yummy but still affordable bottle is a perfect example. You’re not going to break the bank buying a few (dozen?) bottles of Beachhouse for your cookout or waterfront wedding, but you will please a variety of palates with a wine redolent with juicy peach, lemon zest, and a hint of tropical flair. Pop a bottle when cooking is out of the question and your best buds are on their way, cheese platter in tow.
2. Kris Pinot Grigio, 2013 – $12
Pinot Grigio is sometimes accused of being so “drinkable” that it’s almost beige, characteristically speaking, and we’ve certain tried version that are lackluster at best, but this is not that. Sure, it’s simple, and in terms of wine that isn’t the negative descriptor some people have been lead to believe. In any case, the Kris delivers acacia flowers, citrus, and almonds in a balanced and enticing way, and the flavor is classic through and through. There’s a reason this wine is a frequent flyer on restaurant By the Glass lists.
3. Altanuta Pinot Grigio, 2013 – $14
Melon, apricot, peach, lemon, and a hint of freshly picked herbs. It’s all here in the Altanuta Pinot Grigio, along with an admirable punch of acidity that will bring your backyard soiree – complete with grilled fish and even macaroni salad – to vivid life. Your instinct may me to chill this to any almost icy level in order to combat the summer heat, but let it mellow on the table while you drink rather than in an ice bucket; there’s a rich, creamy aspect that develops as the wine’s temperature rises, and it’s an enjoyable evolution to experience.
4. Albino Armani Colle Ara Pinot Grigio, 2011 – $20
The Armani surname might be more commonly associated with haute couture creations and A-list fashion, but rest assured, this beautiful bottle is equally as memorable and elegant. From the almost metallic glint off the wine once poured to the mineral-imbued nose and sensual and surprising burst pomegranate on the palate, these wine holds its own – and then some.
5.Jermann Pinot Grigio, 2013 – $25
If you find yourself wondering how much better a $25 PG can be in comparison to those $8 bottles you usually snag, this is your answer. Supple, balanced, and almost velvety from first sip to the tail end of the finish, this refined wine has the body and concentration to hold up to anything from mushroom risotto to fruitti di mare to, well, a good book. Don’t say we didn’t warn you – it’s practically addictive.
*Vintage availability dependent on vendors. In most cases, descriptions are applicable for most vintages. Wines are chosen based on quality, availability, and consistency, so our readers can actually drink the wines we recommend.