May 2005                              


Wines of the month - Paul DeRose

Light, Crisp, Refreshing - Pinot Grigio

With summer fast approaching and a three month hiatus at hand, I thought it appropriate to end the season on a lighter note, that note being Pinot Grigio. The popularity of Pinot Grigio in America can be credited to the crisp, refreshing style of the wines made from this grape, which typically come from north-eastern Italy (Alto Adige, Friuli, Trentino and Venezie), as well as the grape’s catchy name. Its citrus fruit with a touch of mineral flavor make it the perfect white wine for serving ice cold on a hot summer’s day. Santa Margarita, the most well known producer of Pinot Grigio, which almost single-handedly put the grape on the map in the US, was first sold here at bargain prices, but its popularity has caused its price to soar to more than $20 a bottle. Fortunately, there are many other fine producers of Pinot Grigio who now import their wines here and sell them for significantly less. I have listed several of these below, as well as two from California and three pricier “super-premium” originals, which are more complex and pair well with food.

Listed below are some of my favorites in order of preference. Feel free to direct any questions or comments to me at

• Livio Felluga ($24)
• Marco Felluga Collio ($18) *
• Maso Canali ($18) *
• La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi - California ($14) *
• Banfi San Angelo ($12) *
• Zenato ($12)
• Estancia - California ($11) *
• Lagaria ($10)
• Ecco Domani ($10) *
• Mezzacorona ($9)
• Bella Sera ($7) *
• Cavit ($7) *

* indicates available in Montgomery County