Upon receiving a bottle of Oregon Pinot Gris in the early days of this blog, we immediately started scratching our heads. What was the difference between this and the oh-so-popular Pinot Grigio? We had actually never heard of Pinot Gris, although the two sounded very similar. So, what is the difference?
A little research quickly revealed: not much. They are the same grape. Of course, all the rules of climate and soil apply. They say the difference rests in the treatment of the wine: Pinot Grigio is made in the Italian style, and Pinot Gris in the French style. For us, and most of our readers, that's a little too deep. We find Pinot Gris typically has a heavier mouth-feel to it. Pinot Grigio often comes off much lighter. Think of whole vs. skim milk. But, that's just our observation.
For fun, a little trivia: "pinot grigio/gris" means (in both French and Italian) "gray pine cone." The grape itself has grayish tones and the growing cluster looks like a pine cone. In fact, all Pinot grapes (Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc) have this "pine cone" in their name, due to their appearance.
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio Grapes
A little "one-note" upon first tasting but ended up being an excellent food accompaniment. We enjoyed it with spicy fish and veggie soup. Surprisingly, even with the soup's strong flavors, this wine managed to cut through and hold its own. The soup's spices brought out the wine's much-desired crispness and helped to balance the fruity quality we got with our initial tasting.
The wineries of the Finger Lakes Wine Region work well together. Each fall, they collectively release the previous vintage's Rieslings. So dozens of wineries with brand new offerings, and celebrations and events to accompany them. Those who are familiar with the Finger Lakes know how far the wine region has come with this singular grape, and part of the annual celebration seems to be about closing ranks and finding power in standing together.
We were able to sample three new releases of Finger Lakes Riesling this past week, and will be reviewing them here over the next several days. Each year, we are like kids in a candy store, filled with excitement about what the most recent vintage will be like. We are never disappointed. Check out the twitter feed from the Finger Lakes Riesling Hour that occurred 9/27 to learn more about the recent vintage. During the virtual tasting, #FLXRiesling was the #2 trending topic on Twitter.
Most United States wineries are releasing their 2013 white wines now (except where the wines--like Chardonnay--require aging). That's the most recent year you'll find in your wine shop. And, most of these 2013 white wines are meant to be enjoyed before the winemakers release their 2014 vintage next year. So, get to it!