Terra Alpina vs. San Angelo Banfi Pinot Grigio: Equally as unimpressive.
july 27, 2011: greg and i were in another italian mood, so he grilled up some chicken. this terra aldina pinot grigio from winetree wasn't that impressive, and neither was the banfi it was being compared to. i really couldn't tell much of a difference between these two wines. the terra alpina from the dolomites, in the eastern alps of italy, was 12 percent alcohol and had a light yellow color. i thought it had a bit of stoney nose, a clean smell, kind of like the scent of detergent. but greg was more effusive: he thought the nose was somewhat strawberry and kind of sweet. he didn't think it had much of flavor. "it's just kind of there," he said. "and that's why this makes it a good summer wine because it's cold, and it's kind of like water." i'm not sure that'd be a compliment that would sell me on either wine, but it worked for greg :)
as for the san angelo banfi, this $14.99 schnucks purchase was 13 percent alcohol, with a light yellow color. i thought this tuscan had a pear nose, with a slightly sweeter flavor than the terra alpina. greg said the nose was citrus, and it smelled of cantelope. it had a bit of bitterness at the end, and a sharp texture.
maybe we just haven't learned to appreciate pinot grigio yet?
this column runs as "bottle by bottle" in the evansville courier and press twice or so a month. the focus is on wines, food and how they intersect. if i receive gifts, i'll tell you. photo credits are noted. i buy most of my wines from winetree, varsity liquors, schnucks, the fresh market, kwik liquor and winestyles (in evansville, ind.); big red liquors and sahara mart (in bloomington, ind.); vecchio's italian market (in newburgh, ind.); whole foods (in st. louis); and binny's (in chicago.) also, i do try a number of wines that i don't necessarily mention in the column, through travels to france and other markets (germany, hungary, italy, etc.) that don't sell wines i can find here. those experiences factor into my tasting descriptions, even if i don't mention them in the column, so keep all that in mind. i write the column to tell my readers in the evansville, ind., area what i consider to be flavorful, balanced and good-value wines for sale in this area.