Our Pinot Grigio, According to the Pros

Jul 26, 2022

Courtesy of vinepair.com and "We Asked" - 

We Asked 15 Wine Pros: What’s a Bottle of Pinot Grigio You Would Stake Your Claim On?

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Pinot Grigio burst into the American wine scene thanks to brands such as Cavit and Santa Margherita and became an instant darling among consumers. Relatively easy to pronounce, but with that certain sophistication that a mouthful of Italian syllables can provide, it was a bright and fresh choice that made us feel good about what we thought we knew about wine. Until it… wasn’t. While few of us were paying close attention, Pinot Grigio seemed to go from darling to derelict. Even some respectable wine study texts now list “stale beer” among Pinot Grigio’s tasting notes.

“Pinot Grigio is misunderstood because it’s too overly sold; it can be a generic, cheap, easy-drinking, light white wine,” says Jonathan Kleeman, head sommelier of London’s Restaurant Story. “Obviously, Pinot Grigio has the ability to have great depth of flavor and structure, and to be terroir-driven. The issue with Pinot Grigio is the demand that was created by people who just wanted to have something that was light and easy-drinking, with not much depth to it. That’s been pushed further and further, and to a cheaper price point.”

Like every wine grape, however, Pinot Grigio has serious pedigree and is capable of more than what the mass market makes of it, from rich Pinot Gris expressions, to skin-contact ramato wines, to sparkling and pét-nat selections. It’s time to reclaim Pinot Grigio as a respectable grape, and not just a dirty wine word. So we asked 15 wine pros to name a bottle of Pinot Grigio they’re willing to stake their claim on. And our J Dusi Pinot Grigio made the list! 

  “With a bright and balanced acidity, J. Dusi Vineyard Pinot Grigio is a truly approachable white that has great stone fruit and a kick of pomelo. I love it because it’s a truly food-friendly wine, made by a female winemaker who is a fourth generation farmer in California. And you can’t beat the price point!” — Robin Wolf, owner, Highwater, San Luis Obispo, Calif.