- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ponzi, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, 2005, $18

This fresh but fulsome white wine from Oregon will be a fine addition to your Thanksgiving table. Redolent of ripe pears and apples, it has enough heft to stand up to the turkey and trimmings while at the same time tasting clean and bright.

Pinot gris can be a confusing grape variety because it yields wines in divergent styles. They sometimes are lean and tart, as in Northern Italy (where the grape is called pinot grigio). They also can be richly honeyed, as often happens in Alsace (where it sometimes is called Tokay d’Alsace).

Pinot gris in Oregon tends to tread a middle ground. Fairly full-bodied, it nonetheless tastes dry, so it often is an excellent dinner partner. Characteristically marked by autumn fruit flavors, good examples pair especially well with rich seafood and poultry. They’re great choices at Thanksgiving.

Ponzi, one of Oregon’s pioneering wineries, has been producing fine pinot gris in the Willamette Valley for nearly 30 years. When it started, hardly anyone in the state knew anything about this varietal. Today it’s an Oregon staple. Given the quality in the bottle, that’s a reason to be thankful.

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