Pinot Grigio is a pale, straw or light copper colored Italian varietal wine made with the Pinot Grigio grape, a mutant of the Pinot Noir. The acidic flavor of this white wine makes it one of the most desirable wines which are recommended for consumption when young. This light textured, crisp wine with a dry feel has gained a lot of popularity with the Americans and is perfect as an aperitif or cocktail wine. The fruity flavors and acidic character of the Pinot Grigio wine, built up by the varied diurnal climate, are mainly responsible for its high desirability. Known as a clone of the French Pinot Gris, the Pinot Grigio is prominently grown in the Alto Adige, Friuli and Veneto regions of Italy. As the wine tends to lose its acidity on ripening completely it is usually picked when it is in the initial stages of ripening.
History of Pinot Grigio Wine
Pinot Grigio is considered to have its origin in the Burgundy region of France as the Pinot Gris in the Middle Ages. Later it spread to Switzerland in 1300 and to Germany in the 1700s. Though the original version, Pinot Gris is known to have lost its centuries-old high popularity in the 18th-19th centuries due to non-reliable crops in Burgundy and France, the clonal crop flourished well in Germany in the 20th century due to its reliable characteristics.
Regions Producing Pinot Grigio Wine
Pinot grigio is produced in a number of regions across the world today as described below:
• Italy- this is the home of the Pinot grigio wine the major region of production of this wine being the Alto Adige region.
• France – the original version known as Pinot Gris produced in the Alsace region of France is fuller in body, spicier and richer than the Pinot Grigio wine.
• Australia- The wine and its original French variant are both grown in this country. Introduced by James Busby, Father of Australian wines in 1832, Pinot Grigio is the term given to the drier variant of these wines.
• United States- Pinot Grigio is grown in the California region and it is similar to the original Italian Pinot Grigio in characteristics.
Preparation of Pinot Grigio Wine
Preparation of Pinot Grigio follows the same pattern as other wines of Pinot class. The winemaking process is methodical and follows a formal pattern. The grapes are plucked fresh from the vineyards in the months of September and October, packaged and transported to wineries. Crushed to extract juice and color, the grape is fermented for a period of 5 days in stainless steel or oak barrels at a temperature of 70-80 degrees. The pulp and skin are crushed further to release more of the juice and color. Pinot Grigio wine may be aged in wooden barrels for a smoky flavoring. Clarified by racking, a process in which the wine is separated from dust, dirt and dead yeast cells by siphoning with a stainless steel siphon, the wine thus obtained is directed by the siphon to the bottle. The siphoning should be done cautiously to avoid loss of flavors.
Food Pairing for Pinot Grigio Wine
With base citrus flavoring, Pinot Grigio is best paired with meats like turkey, shrimp and veal, and creamy sauces. Foods with a sour base like tomato dishes are best avoided consumption with Pinot Grigio wine. Spicy foods are also avoided with the wine.
Aging/Serving Pinot Grigio Wine
Pinot Grigio is one of the most favored wines for the summer season. Featured mostly on dinner menus, this acidic white wine with low tannins is served in a number of ways. Here are some recommended ways of serving and enjoying Pinot Grigio Wine
• Pinot Grigio wine is best consumed young, as unlike a number of other red wines, this wine does not improve in attributes with aging. Suggestedly it is consumed within the first couple of years of its manufacture.
• Ideally enjoyed at 45 degrees Fahrenheit when the flavor and aroma of the wine are at their best, it is recommended that the wine be chilled for 2-3 hours and kept in the freezer or ice water for 10 mins.
• Pinot Grigio is best served with the foods mentioned in the above section.
Pinot Grigio Health Facts
Pinot Grigio is known to be high in calories, the amount per serving of 5 fl oz being 112. High in sodium and dietary fiber, this wine does not have cholesterol, trans and saturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, sugar and proteins The amount of Calcium is 1% and iron is 3% in the wine. The citrus flavor of the Pint Grigio might make one think that it is rich is Vitamin C, but surprisingly, the amount of vitamin C in the grape is nil.