Wine to me is passion. It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit.
Robert Mondavi

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wine of the Week: Kris Pinot Grigio

Quite a few years back, I was exposed to a wine that changed my perception of Pinot Grigio by the most unlikely of sources, my mom. It was the night after one of my Aunt Vikki's Christmas parties that she called me with a good amount of excitement. It is not often that she can talk wine with me (she is not a big drinker), but she made two very solid recommendations based off of that night. The first was Hess Allomi Vineyard Cabernet and the second was Kris Pinot Grigio. I must admit, at the time I associated Pinot Grigio with Cavit, Bella Sera and Barefoot, but after Kris, I was awaken to what Pinot Grigio can be.

Kris is produced by Franz Haas winery in Alto Adige, Italy. This area is in the northern most part of Italy and borders both Switzerland and Austria. The owner and winemaker, Franz Haas, is part of a long line of winemakers that dates back to the 1880s. As his name suggests, Franz is of strong Germanic roots and brings a uniquely German way of making wine to Alto Adige.

Another very unique aspect to Kris' wines are the labels. They display the works of Riccardo Schweizer, a contemporary Italian artist with Germanic roots. Each one of the labels depicts the blending of art and science, the primary focus of Haas' wines. The prints used on Kris' three varietals were a gift to Franz Haas and help to complete a beautiful wine experience.

2008 Kris Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige, Italy - $11.99 (reg. $14.99)

The 2008 is a very pleasant and very food friendly wine that keeps up with Kris' reputation for producing very consistent wines. By appearance it has the normal young characteristics of Pinot Grigio, pale yellow with evident hints of green. The nose jumps out of green apple and citrus which is reflected on the palate along with a bit of nut towards the end. The main component of acidity is well integrated into the flavor profile which allows for this wine to pair well with most non-red meat foods.

Ever since my mom recommended this wine, I have not been let down. This is by no means a flashy, rock star of a wine, but rather a steady rock that you can rely upon to pair with a nice meal. Add to this the price of the wine and you have a true value on your hands. I hope you enjoy this wine as much as I have over the years.


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