Pinot Grigio is an all-time Italian favorite both inside and outside “the boot.” Unknown to most, Pinot Grigio is a slightly odd grape in more than one way. First, the pulp of the grape is actually pink. If you look very closely at riper styles of Pinot Grigio, especially from the New World, you can see faint pink or copper tinges in the wine. In fact, some Italian producers have begun to play with this and are making Pinot Grigio that looks closer to rosato than the white wine to which we’re accustomed. Second, Pinot Grigio changes dramatically in style as it ripens on the vine. When picked early and at lower ripeness levels, as in the classic Italian style, Pinot Grigio produces a very lightly fruit-driven wine with loads of minerality and earthy undertones and fairly low alcohol. When picked later and at higher ripeness levels, the fruit flavors can border tropical and even show candied notes and boast more pronounced alcohol and body.
This switch-hitter is an excellent choice for this springtime pasta loaded with primarily savory and earthy veggies. If you want to see the copper-flecked version of Pinot Grigio, try the Marco Felluga Collio Pinot Grigio MonGris. For a more classic Pinot Grigio, the bottlings of Perusini (a small producer) and Attems (part of the Frescobaldi empire of wines are easier to find) are excellent examples.
Check out our recipe for Capricci Primavera
Christy A. Canterbury, Wine Editor