Last week we took a look at the history and the nuance that make pinot gris one of my favorite and least favorite wines. This week, I've got a list of wines you'll want to keep an eye out for next time you visit your local wine shop.
Eisacktaler Kellerei Cantina Valle Isarco Pinot Grigio ($17)
Don't let the string of German and Italian words scare you off; this is the answer to the ho-hum pinot grigios that we all want to avoid. Look for notes of red apple skins, orange blossom and the slightest bite of almond. One glass of this, and you'll never grab that bottom-shelf bottle again.
King Estate Pinot Gris ($19)
Pinot gris may have deep European roots, but it's finding new fame in Oregon. Vintage after vintage, King Estate, America's largest biodynamic winery (that means it's extra sustainably farmed), produces a pinot gris that's elegant and refined, showing layers of ripe peach and pear. Because it's readily available at wine shops and on local restaurant wine lists, think of this as a pinot gris gateway drug.
Teutonic Wine Company Crow Valley Vineyard Pinot Gris ($22)
This is my personal go-to bottle of pinot gris. Lush and round with a faint hint of bitterness of the finish, it's hard to beat this during the dog days of summer. There's a crispness here that reminds me of fresh fall air in the Ozarks and the perfectly ripe fruit that only seem to come from a roadside stand. I've mentioned this Portland, Ore.-based winery before, and trust me when I tell you picking up any of their wines won't let you down.
Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve ($30)
For many, this is their first experience with French pinot gris, and most people will tell you that it's love at first sip. The Trimbach family has been making wine since 1626 and is now known the world over for one of the leading wineries in the Alsace region. If you've ever thought that pinot gris just wasn't for you, this is the wine that will prove you wrong.
Domaine Ostertag 'Les Jardins' Pinot Gris ($35)
I always hold a special place for the wineries I've visited, but this small, family-owned operation near the French-German border is among my favorites. Here pinot gris is presented in its unvarnished and unabashed glory. Though it's a little hard to find on shelves these days, I can't resist snapping it up every time I see it.
As always, you can see what I'm drinking on Instagram at @sethebarlow and send your wine questions and quibbles to email@example.com