Pinot Blanc is having a bit of a moment at our tasting table. It seems like every time we turn around we’re oohing and ahing over another pale member of the Pinot family.
It started last year with Kellerei Kaltern Pinot Grigio’s slightly more sophisticated older sister. At just a few dollars more than the crowd-pleasing Pinot Grigio, it became a go-to suggestion for us to put in your hands for special seafood dishes or a classy aperitif.
Then we flipped for the richer, more unctuous and toasty Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc blend from Au Bon Climat. Move over, Chardonnay, and bring on the scallops or lobster!
Yesterday, yet another tall, skinny bottle stole our hearts, this one from Alsace and the young winemaking family at Domaine Leon Boesch. This might just be our favorite one yet!
So, what is it about Pinot Blanc? While tasting our latest favorite yesterday, we decided that it’s the texture that’s really making us flip. Pinot Blanc manages to combine that little bit of that mouthfilling quality that riper Pinot Grigio/Gris has, but with brighter fruit flavors and racier acidity. This combination makes it appealing both as a standalone glass and for pairing with a wide variety of foods – pretty irresistible!
A teacher of mine once told us that one of the best ways to study wine was to harness our natural tendency to go on ‘kicks’ for a certain grape or region. Just go down the rabbit hole completely, he advised, and plan a trip to wherever your latest favorite hails from. Read about restaurants and look at their lists, research hotels, look at maps and decide what vineyards you’d want to visit. Google Earth is a great tool to use for this purpose – I spent a good hour last week ‘visiting’ Puligny-Montrachet. It was a gray, cloudy day when Google’s photographers were there, but it brought me back just the same. Filling your brain with ‘fun’ facts about a wine region like where the best restaurants and hotels are makes it easier to remember the more serious stuff.
So, what’s your latest obsession? Daydreaming about visiting Priorat? Stuck on Sauvignon Blanc? Let us know!