Pinot Gris has bigger flavours and a fuller texture than Pinot Grigio—

Pinot Grigio was the darling of the white wine world. Yet some wine fans derided its neutral flavours as a dilution of the very soul of Bacchus. Pinot Gris is the same grape as Pinot Grigio, but handled in a different way by the wine-grower.

With lower yields and a longer time hanging on the vines, it develops bigger flavours and fuller texture. You can find really rich examples from Alsace, such as my Cave de Beblenheim pick from Waitrose, which is full of peachy richness that pairs a charm with a chicken tikka masala.

I’ve also loved examples from New Zealand with their vibrant fruity purity. But some of my recent favourites are from England. Stopham Vineyard makes a great one, or treat yourself to Oastbrook from East Sussex for its juicy, sensual, tropical zing. Feels more like springtime with every sip.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

FRUITY & FABULOUS: Exquisite Collection Alsace Pinot Gris 2017 (12.5%)  £7.69 Aldi. Peachy value with subtle smokiness. Top choice with curry.  

FLORAL DANCE: Waimea Estate Pinot Gris 2018 (13%) £10.99* Majestic. Floral and fulsome white with lush fruit and bright flavour. Mix Six price

SILKY & SLICK: Beblenheim Pinot Gris Reserve 2018  (13%) £10.99 Waitrose. Alsace Pinot Gris with subtle fragrance and silky refreshment.

HOMEGROWN HERO: Oastbrook Pinot Gris 2018 (12%) £19 oastbrook.com. Nectarine zing with subtle jasmine scent, treat yourself to serious English excellence.

WINE OF THE WEEK

The Best Pinot Gris 2018 (13.5%) £8.50 Morrisons. Sumptuous and sleek with glossy, gorgeous fruitiness. Bang for buck it’s hard to beat.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 23rd February 2020

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