Tag Archives: pinot grigio

2011 Be Bright Pinot Grigio (by Beringer)

Be Bright Pinot Grigio by Beringer

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. Bright.

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.

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2010 Little Penguin Pinot grigio

Last night, we had my butternut squash risotto for dinner and decided to pair it with a bottle of the 2010 Little Penguin Pinot grigio from Southern Australia (the label has changed from the one they use on the website). The bottle was a gift for the party on Friday. Note the cute cork print. I love it when winemakers find ways to make their corks stand out!

Now, I am usually not an overly big fan of white wines from the Southern hemisphere. They tend to be too alcoholic for my taste (a result of the high amounts of sunshine they get: more sunshine, more sugar in the grape. And since sugar is turned into alcohol by the yeast, if you have lots of sugar and want to produce a dry wine, you often end up with high alcohol content).

This one was not bad, though. It was somewhat unimpressive, but that is what I often find pinot grigios to be anyway. It was quite refreshing, and the citrus notes went very well with the sweetness of the squash risotto. I think the penguin can be good company with sweeter foods. The still-attached price tag reads $9.99, which I would consider too much for this wine.

In better news, we received a box of six wines from my good friend Stefan Erbes (you can see him here) of Karl Erbes winery in Uerzig. Stefan and I became quick friends over a winetasting at his estate, and when a German friend offered to bring wine back for us from a recent trip, Stefan sent him a box of 2011s for us to try. I am really excited about this!! I am even more excited to be visiting his estate in June, when Nina and I will be in Germany.

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