- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Etude, Pinot Gris, Carneros, 2005, $24

At least when grown in the United States, pinot gris is a grape that produces plenty of bland wines. Not this one. Distinguished by vivacious fruit flavors resembling ripe pears, white peaches and honeydew melons, it grabs your attention. There’s nothing remotely bland about it.

The grapes for this wine come from the Carneros region at the southern edge of Napa and Sonoma counties. Because Carneros tends to be cooler than regions located even a few miles to the north, the wine retains sufficient acidity to stay in balance. Its flavors teeter on the edge of sweetness, but the wine never seems overbearing or sappy. Instead, it evidences delicious harmony.

This vivacious wine will pair well with full-flavored seafood and poultry dishes, especially those that themselves display a bit of sweetness. It would be a great partner for grilled salmon or fried chicken.

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