Wine of the Week
A Pinot Grigio for Everyone
Pinot Grigio. Wine snobs hate it, and the public adores it. Snobs claim the wine is bland and boring. The public loves its easygoing nature and the fact that it tastes great ice-cold on a hot summer day. Plus, who can complain about the price? Unfortunately, the public's love of Pinot Grigio has led a huge number of Italian wineries to produce awful wine, and some have even had the cheek to produce inferior wines and then sell them at over $20 a bottle! Luckily, we have discovered a version that is fairly priced, impressively appealing, and good enough to unite snobs and the general public. It's called Mazzoni ($13.99).
The wine's grape is grown all over the world, usually called either Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio. Some areas, like France's Alsace, create a wine that is so full-bodied that the locals drink it with roasted pork. The majority of Italian Pinot Grigio is grown in the northeastern part of the country. The wines there can range from watery and tasteless to amazing wines that will pair with almost any foods. Mazzoni, on the other hand, is from Tuscany, the part of Italy that looks like the Hill Country on steroids: hot and hilly. More specifically, it's from Montalcino, home of Brunello, one of the world's most expensive and sought-after wines. You have to wonder what would make a winery plant grapes with such a low intrinsic value in the land of Brunello. I don't really care, though, because this is a very special wine. Mazzoni leaves the skins in its wine for a longer than usual time, which gives the wine sturdy density and darker color. Then they cold ferment it to keep the acids lively. That's what makes it a food wine extraordinaire.
This is the kind of wine you want to buy by the case. Unfortunately, it's only available at Cedar Valley Liquor and the Onion Creek Food Mart. Any H-E-B or Twin Liquors outlet can order it for you, as can your favorite local dealer. Just tell them it's from Republic National Distributing and they'll be able to find it.