I think I mentioned it before, I am not the biggest fan of the white pinots, be it pinot gris/grigio/Grauburgunder or pinot blanc/bianco/Weissburgunder. Both often fail to impress me when I try the wines by themselves. I think they can be decent food companions in that they can complement certain types of food. For me, one of these foods is risotto. I usually use a pinot grigio or soave or orvieto for the risottos I cook, and the pairing for dinner works.
So, when I decided to make risotto for friends, it seemed natural to give this bottle a try. Nina had picked it up a couple of weeks back when Kroger had marked it down from an astonishing $18 to $8 in a special sale. She bought it to take to a party, but then that never happened, so we figured why not for the risotto dinner. A rather expensive pinot grigio could be nice with the risotto…
When I first saw the bottle I was skeptical. A California pinot grigio made by Beringer. Hmmm. Also, the label is way too fancy for my taste. And then, I saw the back label and it has this ingenuity printed on it:
Be sunny. Be Breezy. Be Bright!
This effortless Pinot Grigio keeps things light, with sun-ripened citrus flavors and a crisp, fresh finish. An instant taste of optimism, perfect for setting a carefree mood at any occasion. Serve chilled for total deliciousness.
I can’t tell you how much I dislike this marketing agency kind of talk on labels. This is all gibberish meant to entice the unsure to spend loads of money on this “oh so cool” product. Ugh. An “effortless” pinot grigio? Did you not put any effort into making it, Mr Beringer or whoever runs the shop? An “instant taste of optimism”? How so? From the citrus flavors? Or because you know it can only get better once you tried the wine? This is all just so pathetic …
Well, we tried the wine and here is what I think. It was light in color. The nose was dominated by very prominent bosc pear aromas, which made it hard for me to detect other aromas. On the palate, pear dominated again with some hints of peach coming in later. I did not get any of the claimed citrus flavors that could actually have helped this wine a lot. The finish was short, which is okay for a pinot grigio. However, there were also slight bitter notes which I did not fancy.
All in all, I guess this is an okay wine. It just did not do much for me, because it felt too heavy and lacked interesting notes. It also did not pair too well with the risotto I had made, a mushroom-porcini risotto, probably because of the strong pear flavor. However, I always have that risotto with white wine and never really had a problem. I don’t know. I will definitely not go and buy another bottle, it was just not my taste.
I’m with you with the silly descriptions. It may be OK if you drink the wine right after it’s made, but all wine ages and it can rapidly become just plain wrong and irrelevant. There have been quite a few instances where the description seemed to have been written for another wine.
Hmmm. This was a 2011, so I don’t think it had enough time to deteriorate…:)
18$ for a Pinot Grigio – that’s crazy. Pinot Grigio is a wine of mass production in the Veneto, Italy. And even Weißburgunder in Germany can be found for a few Euros. I saw the wines from Beringer in one of the big stores here in Munich but never went for one due to their high prices. I remember their “Blanc Knights Valley – Saugivnon Blanc” for 20€. That’s just over the top!
Your judgement of their Pinot Grigio will keep me away from them :) Thanks for the review!
I agree, these whites should not be that expensive…
I hate to say it, but this bottle of wine really seems to be aiming for rather well off people with no clue. The label, the back label, the price. It all just screams “I’m hip” (and I’m expensive therefore good) at people that get duped into buying it…
Mind you, Nina bought it for way less, so I am not talking badly about her! :)
8$ is a fair price! But like you said that was a special sale..
Well, have to admit – I actually like this type of descriptions on the labels… It is too bad that the wine failed expectations – but California Pinot Grigio should be quaffable just by itself, on a super-hot summer day. For the risotto as you are describing, I would probably take something with the earthy notes – which still can be Pinot Grigio, but preferably from Northern Italy… Just my $.02
Maybe that is the reason why this one did not work. I usually pair it with Italian pinot grigio…good point.
However, I did not think this wine would have worked on its own, it seemed to heavy handed. It did not have refreshing qualities really.
Listen, what I said about this wine was only a “positive thinking” : ) In reality, I wouldn’t touch CA Pinot Grigio at all – yes, you can call me a snob…
Hahaha, you crack me up. My instincts would have told me the same thing…:)
Yeah, I hate when they spend more time on reading a thesaurus than they do making the wine. I think I’m going to add “overly cheery labels” to my list of wines to automtically avoid. That list consists of 1 – anything under $5, 2 – Anything with an animal on the label.
I share the animal rule and tend to agree on the under $5, but then again, the vinho verde I love is only $4.49…
I only read the back label after we tried the wine, and just thought it was kinda sad.
Hmmm, this rule might void you of some interesting wines… Vinho Verde from Portugal is often available for $3.99. Gaja Sauvignon Blanc (amazing) has a picture of the bird on the label, same as some of the great Priorat and Loire wines….
True that. I was thinking of Stag’s Leap, e.g.
For me, it is more a combination of price and animal…when I see a kangaroo on a $4 bottle, I pass…
Come on, the Kangaroo now even has a Reserve brother (whatever)! : ) : ) But honestly, my last Kangaroo experience was probably about 10 years ago…
So no ‘instant taste of optimism’? It does not sound like it set a ‘carefree mood’ either….
Hahaha, indeed. If I had judged it by its own description, it would have been an utter failure…
At least it made us joke with our friends that this was the reason why we brought the wine, because the atmosphere at theirs is always so tense and pessimistic…
I wish I was this knowledgeable about wine… :) But, I agree with you on the silly talk they put on bottles; I mean, I love talking about wine in lifestyle terms and all, but I don’t want that lame stuff on the bottle instead of telling me the facts about the wine, vineyard and such.
Thanks for the comment, Rachel! Glad I am not alone in feeling duped by that stuff. I agree with you: It is something different for us drinkers to talk about wine this way. The company should not take such cheap shots.