Gray Simpson from Cork’s Out in Heswall talks us through one of the most popular wines – Pinot Grigio.
OUT FOR lunch or an evening meal? Fancy a glass of wine? White? What’s your poison then? Pinot Grigio? Ok, here’s a big glass. Sound familiar?
Walk into any bar or restaurant these days and take a look at the wine list or have a look at the bottles in the fridge. I will guarantee there’ll be a number of bottles of Pinot Grigio there looking back at you. The last three or four years has seen the demand for Italian Pinot Grigio in the UK rocket skywards faster than the Space Shuttle in full throttle.
If I’d asked you these questions five years ago, your answer would have been New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and while this is still a massive seller in the UK, it certainly seems to have been overtaken by Pinot Grigio in the on-trade. Why is this so?
No real reason other than style and familiarity.
It ticks a number of boxes. Dry white wine? – Tick!
Crisp, refreshing and cold? – Tick!
Cheap and readily available? – Tick and tick!!
First it was Australian Chardonnay. Then along came New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and now it’s Italian Pinot Grigio. Soon enough it will be something else. Wines can be very fad-like to the restaurant and bar- frequenting public. Less so for the "drink- at-home" brigade – that’s why New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is still a massive seller. But what is it, really about Pinot Grigio that makes it so popular?
Firstly, we must look at some of its background. Historians reckon it came from Burgundy in the 15th century and was probably a genetic variation of the Pinot Noir grape, so famed for its great (and awful) red burgundies.