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by Fred McMillin
for June 2006

Wine

 

Super Summer Sipping—The Gray Pinot

(alias Pinot Gris)
(alias Pinot Grigio)

"You really should pick up an Oregon Pinot Gris this summer. We've been writing about them for years. However, Italian, and even California versions have become so popular that Oregon's Gris seems to have taken a back seat."
      —Gaiter & Brecher
          Wall Street Journal

Alright, before we recommend a Pinot Gris (gree)—Pinot Grigio is the Italian name of the same grape—let's check the wines from all three regions. Here are the results from tasting nine of them:

Rating The Regions—Which Was Best?

Rank   Wine
9th - California, Rex Goliath Pinot Gris, $9
8th - California, Meridian Pinot Grigio, $11
7th - California, GaIlo of Sonoma Pinot Gris, $13
6th - Italy, Folonari Pinot Grigio, Wildman Imports, $8
5th - Italy, Bonello Gabbiano Pinot Grigio, Beringer-Blass Imports, $9
4th - California, MacMurray Ranch Pinot Gris, $20
3rd - Italy, Maso Canali Pinot Grigio, Gallo Imports, $23
2nd - Oregon, King Estate Pinot Gris, $15
1st - Oregon, King Estate Domaine Pinot Gris, $25

Conclusion

Clearly, my panel didn't put Oregon in the back seat. King Estate's two "grees" were tops, with California last. BUT WAIT! In other tastings against Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs, both the Goliath Gris and the Meridian Grigio (gree-zhee-oh) won Best Buy of the night.

 

And a Final Wine Smile

My lifelong friend, Richard Hunt, now lives in Palm Springs. He says there are plenty of $100 bottles in the wine shops, but that the reputation of the city's affluence is greatly exaggerated. He says there are even three homes without their own golf course.

 

—Research Credit: Joe Lorentz

 
 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 


 

 
 

This page created June 2006

Copyright © 2006
electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc.

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