I’ll be honest, I wasn’t excited about this wine. Whilst I’ve had some lovely Pinot Grigios, I’ve had plenty that are insipid. I’ve drunk divine Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley in France, but some real duffers from elsewhere, and I’m not South African wine’s biggest consumer, it seem s along way to bring mediocre wine to Europe, we have plenty of that ourselves.
So I opened this bottle of Fire Flower Chenin Blanc Pinot Grigio with a view to it going into a risotto, but as is my wont I served a little sherry-sized glass as an aperitif whilst the risotto did its simmering. I was confused.
The wine was pale lemon in colour, clear and bright, but here’s the thing, it smelled positively zingy, like fresh cut Granny Smith apples. I have no idea where that smell was coming from. There was a little bit of florality too, but apples aplenty.
It tasted dry, with a medium acidity. Not the biting, racy acid the apples had promised but pleasantly refreshing all the same. It was medium bodied, with a medium level of alcohol, not too much, not too little. Depending on your cynicism level that’s either the Goldilocks of wine or an attempt to make something inoffensive.
The apple flavour was there, but not as pronounced, the floral flavour was a little more noticeable, along with something vegetable like. Not quite green pepper, but certainly not cabbage or anything alarming. Maybe broccoli? I do like broccoli.
Having condemned this as risotto wine I did use most of it for standard human consumption – the rice got one large glass. I looked it up, it seems it’s wine I got in a mixed bucket from Waitrose Cellar. I paid about £7 for it which seems reasonable. I wouldn’t want to be paying much more for this wine, but at that price I think it was a good value choice.