Let me start off by saying that this wine is my definition of a “Daily Drinker.” Not only is it easily accessible, both in price and on the palate, but it comes in a cute little half bottle at my local Whole Foods Market. I’m a big fan of the half bottle for a during the week drink — think of it as portion control. You know when it’s only Tuesday, but you really want a glass or two of wine, but you really don’t want to open a whole bottle and make vinegar for the weekend? Yeah, that’s when half bottles are awesome. And when the flavor profile is easy on the palate, well, that’s just bonus points.
Little did I know that my weekday, “Daily Drinker” actually has a bit of a story and a little more depth than I originally gave it credit for…
About the Wine: Look closely at the bottle and you’ll see that the wine comes from “Südtirol – Alto Adige.” Alto Adige, a valley between the Rhaetian Alps and the Dolomites in Italy, is still commonly referred to by its German name Südtirol, as it was ceded to Italy by Austria after World War I. But even to this day, Südtirol/Alto Adige maintains predominantly Germanic. And this absolutely comes through in the wine produced in this region. St. Michael-Eppan primarily produces Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer.
The 2014 St. Michael-Eppan Pinot Grigio is made from 100% pinot gris grapes from the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Northern Italy. 13% ABV
Flavor Profile: This is a very pale white wine with a bit of a greenish tint and initial aromas mirror that perspective. Fresh grass and green herbs engulf your sense of smell straight-away — you’ll think you’re in that Germanic-Italian valley. Initial tastes of citrus fruits — but quite light and subtle. There’s an underlying minerality that gives this wine its freshness, its drinkability. And, on the back of the palate, is that a hint of spice? There’s just a bit of a kick to this wine that, in my book, makes it more interesting than most pinot grigios.
I would say the acid level medium to medium high, which may account for that extra “kick.” But all in all this is a light-bodied wine, which lends itself well to drinking either solo or with food.
Food Pairing: Personally, I would pair this wine with anything Italian-inspired that includes those light, but luxurious Italian cheeses (I’m thinking mozzarella, parmesan, even provolone). I’ve had this wine with pizza, pasta, and even salad. Just remember, in regards to toppings, less is more — let the wine speak to you as a friend and don’t talk over her by inundating her with an abundance of unnecessary seasonings and spices.
More Info: There’s not a lot of specific info on this wine out there. The Sorting Table has this interesting fact sheet on the winery and of course you can always read Robert Parker’s reviews of their various highly pointed wines. I buy my half bottles of St. Michael Eppen 2014 Pinot Grigio at Whole Foods (Price: $9.99), but you can find more of this vineyards wines and a local wine seller near you on Wine Searcher.