Oregon Pinot Gris: More Versatile Than Expected

Posted on: February 24th, 2011 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Many Oregon wine producers have the advantage of a long growing season moderated by their proximity to the rugged Oregon Coast.  They actually share many of the cool coastal growing conditions enjoyed by the Northern California producers, making their Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir wines top flight.

A prime example of a wine from a coastal Oregon estate location with some fruit sourced from vineyards near Willamette is a Pinot Gris produced by King Estate Winery as part of their “Signature Collection”.  With consistent Wine Spectator ratings in the 90’s, this one is a bargain in the $15-$20 range at Costco and Fry’s.

For another plus, this Pinot Gris has a lot more character than its competition.  With many of the citrus components of a Sauvignon Blanc along with the soft backbone of a Riesling, this is a very food-friendly wine.  So if you are looking for a high quality versatile white for a dinner party, it is sure to fill the bill.

Because Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are actually from the same grape, the food paring recommendations for the Med Diet really do apply to this wine.  However, due to those Riesling characteristics in the King Estate Pinot Gris, it can be used with an even wider variety of dishes.

In fact, its excellent balance between acid and an ever so slight trace of sweetness, allows it to pair well with spicy dishes, including Chili Relleno!  It will also compete well with Pinot Gris from Alsace because of its balance and low alcohol.

Serve well chilled from the fridge after an hour or so (45-50 degrees).  The complex flavors of citrus, floral, vanilla, and mineral are quite pronounced when tasting this fine example of an Oregon primo white wine.  It will continue to increase in complexity as it warms up.

With moderately spicy food, its acid base will also add a very long finish to any peppery flavors, ahhh.

Look out: This wine will not cool off a really hot Mexican or Thai dish, but will enhance its punch.

Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com

View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.

About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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