Saturday, February 25, 2012

A quick note on the Gris and Grigio

This is some thing that has been bothering me for a few days so i though i would just lay it out here for you.


Pinot Gris has been around for a long bloody time, like middle ages long time. Emperor Charles IV, the holy roman emperor, was drinking a gris with his roasted pheasant. But it wasn’t until the last 40 years that we began to see the real part in the ways it was made. Perhaps it was way before that, but nobody bothered to make note of it.  

Both of these wines come from the same grape. Anyone who tells you other wines is wrong, and deserves to be made fun of. Period. End of story. Done.
Okay, yes, they may blend other grapes into it and not list them all on the label because the bottling and labeling standards are different between countries, states or even provinces. But when it comes down to it, the gris and the grigio only differ in style.

Grigio Profile – The Italians truly perfected this dry, lemon drop of a wine. Typically this style is light to medium acidity, soft fresh flavor, and plenty of sunshine and straw yellow color. This wine is just plain light in general, and you can’t help but get the impression that it was made to be soft and easy drinking in the hot summer days. 

Gris Profile – France, specifically Alsace, is the 'true' home of Gris but it’s well done in other places like Oregon and Niagara falls.  Typically lemon in color with flavors of apricot, ocean beach notes, lots of sunshine, fuller and older acidity make up this wine. Interestingly enough gray grapes can often make a pink wine as seen with some Oregon Pinot gris that have these copper-pink tones.

Perhaps some of the confusion comes from the Pinot gris in California, they are often called Pinot grigio because of its similarity in style to the wine of Italy.

Regardless, I think they should stick to one standard for naming and realize the the gris vs. grigio is like oaked vs unoaked. It’s not a different grape it’s a different style. That is all.

/end rant/


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