This is part of a series of posts about the wines offered at Slows BBQ during the summer of 2015.
Pinot Grigio grown in the mountains tastes better. The Tyrolean Alps yield this nervy, energetic and dry white wine. We think it pairs well with hot summer days and BBQ fixins.
– the menu
Pinot Grigio sometimes gets a bad rap, mostly because its so popular, but then also because its popularity causes big brands to farm it on an industrial scale. In that sense it deserves its reputation; generic Pinot Grigio is like the Bud Lite of wine.
But we are interested in how it came to be popular in the first place. What ever made Pinot Grigio so compelling?
For the average consumer, Pinot Grigio offers a respite from the periodic predominance of its antithesis: oaky Chardonnay. There are times when cosmetically enhanced Chardonnay is as common as it is sweet and laden with contrived wood flavors. Pinot Grigio is almost never made to taste that way. Even when its farmed on an industrial scale in the fertile flat farmland of Veneto, it typically is delivered in a form without wood (so clean, pure, etc.) If it fails, it fails because it is neutral, boring, and without character.
This is why Pinot Grigio from the mountains tastes better. Even a relatively large-scale production item like this from the family firm of Tiefenbrunner, when it is exposed to the chill and dry air of higher elevations, has a temper which is more firm and resilient when compared to the more common low-elevation fruit filling the market. This can be quantified to a certain degree as natural acidity, or the sense of mineral flavors on the palate. The benefit is that it remains drinkable for the duration of an entire bottle. Also this makes it pair better with food.
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