Christie Kiley on July 20, 2015 2 Comments Summer is in full swing and we’ve still got a couple more months to go. We all know what that means: more time outside for social gatherings or just relaxing on the back patio on a warm summer’s evening with a perfectly chilled, crisp, delightfully refreshing wine to help us wind down. Pinot Grigio often does not get enough credit. Heck, I remember back before I knew very much about wine when I went to a friend’s house with a couple other ladies and we sipped on a bottle of Pinot Grigio that was on special over a couple ice cubes. No, you will not need any photographs to incriminate this sommelier, I freely admit my previous ignorance. I believe it was that night and following morning when I awoke with a wicked headache–even after only two glasses–that I decided that I disliked the stuff. Luckily my personal tastes and education have evolved beyond those days. Pinot Grigio (also known as Pinot Gris) is worth a second look, especially if you are looking to expand on your summer wine collection for something a little different, yet still satisfying. About Pinot Grigio First, let’s define some terms. Is it Pinot Grigio? Or is it Pinot Gris? They are actually one and the same. The name “Pinot Gris” from France, while “Pinot Grigio” is from Italy. However, this only refers to wines from Old World countries. When it comes to the New World (i.e. California, Oregon, Washington, Australia), these names can be a little more difficult to define. For some reason that I cannot fully explain, the drier styles of this wine are referred to as “Pinot Gris” while the sweeter and fuller versions are labeled as “Pinot Grigio”. But even this is not an exact science and there might be exceptions to this rule. For those of you who read my wine reviews on a regular basis, please refer to one of my previous reviews: 2014 Commanderie de la Bargemone Rosé. In this review I talk about how to choose a rosé wine to your own personal taste. This previous article discusses how to pick out a certain style of rosé based on its color, which can also be applied to choosing a Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris. Want a dry style? Go with one with a lower alcohol content. If you want a fuller-bodied wine, pick one with a higher alcohol content. As for other nuances, your local wine merchant should be able to help you find the right style for your taste. The 2013 Kris Pinot Grigio My pick this week is the 2013 Kris Pinot Grigio. The wine is from Alto Adige, Italy. Located in the northeast, this is the smallest wine region of Italy and where they primarily cultivate Pinot Grigio. Because most of the vineyards are located in mountain valleys, the growing season is short and these wines tend to be more on the dry side with very fresh flavors and aromas. The combination is perfect for a chilled summer wine. The Kris Winery The Kris vines are grown in the small town along the hillside of Montagna. Because this winery is geographically close to Austria and Germany, the wine-making styles are reminiscent of the white wines you would find in either of these countries. They may be proud of their Italian location, but they are also notably proud of their roots. All of their wines are handcrafted and done so with the artistry of the Germanic influences from their past and with modern techniques of their updated winery with a hint of Italian craftsmanship. There could not be a more balanced combination. At Kris winery, winemaking is a fine art, and they enjoy reminding wine lovers of this with their playful labeling. Their labels were created by a contemporary Italian artist, Riccardo Schweizer, who studied under Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso. Schweizer passed away in 2004. The golden orb you see on each label is to pay homage to the Italian sun that is so pertinent to their vineyard’s growth. The hand, which is represented in different ways on every label, is to commemorate the work of man in the art of crafting each wine, and the lips represent each person who enjoys their wine. Tasting Notes I hope you enjoy this wine as much as I do. The 2013 Kris Pinot Grigio is one to keep on hand for last-minute company or for a simple, easy and refreshing glass all by yourself. It is full of citrus, lime zest, sugared lemon peel, hazelnut and kumquat. Place it in your fridge around lunch time and it will be the perfect temperature to enjoy at dinner alongside some ceviche, flaky grilled fish and a light salad, or even just some of your favorite picnic snacks. May summer never end!