Vigneti Del Sole Pinot Grigio 2014

by Amy

They say seasonal eating is best, and I believe them. What I love about the seasons is that they're tied so intricately with the foods we eat throughout the year. I'm certainly not tired of summer's bounty yet, are you? (I love you, tomatoes, even if I have to withstand inferno temps to get to you)

Today's selection, Vigneti Del Sole Pinot Grigio 2014, is summer in a bottle, and it'll go well with so many of your favorite seasonal dishes. Taste and see!

 

Tasting Notes

This one's super light, which you might guess from its palest-straw-gold color. Super bright on the nose, lemon and apple blossom abound, and it tastes about the same going down. Not too sweet but not too tart, this is a dry wine that's got a lovely crisp finish that's longer than you'd think. 

Price point

This one's a super bargain: only $7.97 from this merchant.

Pairings

Serve this with a lighter fish, like mahi mahi, or some shellfish. The wine's crisp citrus will also play nicely with a delicate chicken salad or a German potato salad.

Sutter Home Pinot Grigio

by Amy

Whether you want to or not, sometimes you have to follow directions.

For those of us who are rock-solid stubborn, this is a hard realization to come to. But the sooner you accept this, the happier you'll be. Because sometimes things aren't built according to your preferences and the way your brain works. Sometimes you have to meet things halfway in order to have an optimal experience.

This phenomenon is why I.T. professionals characterize 90% of the service calls they receive as PICNIC: Problem In Chair, Not In Computer.

In other words you, the human, are responsible for the problems you're having—not the computer. Your real problem is that you've forced a piece of machinery to meet your expectations when that piece of machinery was not built to be your mindreader. Just like a good relationship, you've gotta meet the computer halfway in order for you both to function harmoniously.

The same holds true for wine. 

Serving temperatures are important. The delicate aromas and structural compounds of wine are severely influenced by the temperature. Serving temperature for reds can vary depending on varietal, around 55 degrees F to 72 degrees F, but a good rule of thumb for whites is to chill them around 45 degrees F.

And guess what? Your white wine doesn't care if you've just come home with your takeout and you're ready to start eating sushi and drinking wine and watching Netflix right now—you need to let that sucker chill for a bit.

I bet you can see where this is going.

Such was the case last Saturday night. I'd brought home a bottle of Sutter Home Pinot Grigio and some sushi. But I was ravenously hungry, so I didn't wait to chill my wine—and I was punished. It was not a pleasant drinking experience, one I'm pretty sure I likened to drinking fruit-flavored rubbing alcohol. And I blamed it on the wine.

That's what I get for paying $5 for wine! my brain fumed. (Though, to be fair, I've had some delicious $5 wines, and have known to imbibe Two-Buck-Chuck with great pleasure. But hell hath no fury like a woman scorned by her wine choice, and so I raged on.)

But later that night, I needed some wine to go with my SNL (I mean, right?), and thought, "What the heck?" So I pulled my bottle out of the fridge and poured another glass. And this time, it was a completely different drinking experience—the wine was actually tasty because it was finally the correct temperature.

Duh. Duh, Amy. 

Sutter Home Pinot Grigio, when served at the proper ice-cold temperature, is a pretty solid wine. With notes of honeysuckle and lime, this wine sports medium acid with a high-ish tasting alcohol content, rounded out with flavors of peach and cantaloupe. If I had chilled this properly, I bet it would've gone well with my salmon and tuna nigiri. 

You can find a bottle of this online for $6, but I routinely see it for $5 at my local wine merchant.

Lesson learned. Don't be like me.

 

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Clos du Bois Pinot Grigio 2014

by Amy

When it comes to my drink choices, sometimes I'm a broken record. But I don't really mind.
 

Honestly, this isn't a recent phenomenon: I've always been this way. I could quote The Little Mermaid word for word when I was 5 because it was the only movie I'd watch for days on end. Even now, if I like something, even after the 50th time of indulging in it, I'm still gonna love it as much as I did the first time.

This is a great trait to have when you're broke and you don't mind eating beans and rice for days on end. It's not so great when you binge-watch the night away instead of folding the mountain of laundry that you allow to sit in the dryer for an embarrassingly long time. (talking about a "friend" here, guys)

Don't get me wrong: I enjoy trying new things. But some nights, all I want to do is curl up with a nice, comfortable favorite, whether it's a TV show or a drink. And I generally know which varietals are my favorites: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling really turn my crank. So on this blog, I'm going to do my best to try not to be a broken record, but bear with me if I post about these gems a bit more than some other varietals. 

P.S. You have full permission to suggest new varietals for me to try. In fact, I'd rather you speak now than forever hold your piece!

ANYWAY. Onto this lovely Californian Pinot Grigio.

Clos du Bois' 2014 Pinot Grigio was everything I love about this varietal: it's light, crisp, and just delightful to drink. There's lots of candied lemon on the nose, with notes of grapefruit, ginger, and tiny bit of grass on the palate. This isn't too acidic, so I think it'd be phenomenal paired with sushi or some really aromatic Thai food, like Tom Kha Gai or a green curry. I would order it again in a heartbeat. 

And good news: it's only $11.99


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Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio

By Amy
 

Have you ever had something follow you around til you were sick of it? 


A younger sibling. An unrequited crush. A black cat. Things that make you want to cringe if they just don't back off.

Gnarly Head Vineyards is not one of those things.


I've been running into Gnarly Head a lot lately, both in store displays and social gatherings. I just commented on how much I enjoy their Chardonnay as my go-to, affordable white. Their marketing department must be working overtime these days—but at least it's for a worthy cause.

My friends and I had our annual Friendsgiving last weekend, and this year's theme was a pasta night (aka Carb-o-palooza). One of our friends was nobly charged with bringing booze (his taste credentials had been vetted—an important but sometimes unfortunately overlooked trait in selecting the booze chooser), so when I peeked in his bag upon arrival, I was pleased to see Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio. 

Light and bright, with a honeysuckle aroma and citrus flavor of Meyer lemon, this Pinot Grigio was delightful alongside a spicy penne alla vodka. I bet it'd also be great with some fish tacos in the summertime (or even some lemon chicken and broccoli!). 

And since it's in the Gnarly Head family, you're getting a good product at a good price: it's only $9.99.

Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio

By Amy

Mezzacorona

That's ridiculously fun to say. It's even more fun to say if you feign an Italian accent a la the waiter in Lady & the Tramp.

Google Translate defines "mezzacorona" as "half crown." I'm not sure why the vineyard decided to go with that name, because it certainly doesn't match the majesty of the property where they cultivate their grapes. Mama miaset in the foothills of the Italian Dolomites. And with its rolling hills and sapphire blue skies, it's utterly and completely gorgeous.

But I digress.

Mezzacorona makes a delightful Pinot Grigio that complements soups, salads, and white meats. Its green apple and honeysuckle notes pair delightfully with crisp acidity, and make you think you've paid more for the bottle than you have. 

I've seen a bottle retail for $16, which isn't bad at all, but shhyou can find it here for only $8.70!

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