Funny thing wine. When people know you like it then they give you wine as presents, or buy you wine related gifts, some of which are fabulous, some of which, well, they’re less than fabulous, but I love them anyway because someone thought to give them to me.
There’s a downside too. People want you to identify wines blind, like a performing seal, and they always want you to choose wine. That can be a minefield. I know what I like, and what my budget is (and how far I’m willing to go over it), but establishing what other people will like, judging their budget, and guessing what they’ll serve it with is a nightmare.
I was sent to a supermarket, in a foreign country, with what I thought was a tight budget (although those American dollars are like Monopoly money, they go a long way), to buy Pinot Grigio, to go with vegetarian pasta. I didn’t cry.
I figured that in America, American wine would be best value. I also realised I’d never bought an American Pinot Grigio and brands weren’t going to help. I plumped for a BV (Beaulieu Vineyards) Coastal Estates 2005 Pinot Grigio. It’s not from estates on the coast, but from anywhere they can get their hands on fruit.
I’m not a big Pinot Grigio drinker, but I don’t think I did badly for $8 (certainly better than the $3 I spent with Chuck). It was fresh, dry, quite fruity with lemony acidity, and it held up remarkably well against a lasagne stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and a sprinkling of spinach (I’d thought it would be full of vegetables, but hey, I was a long way from home).
This wouldn’t be a wine I’ d seek out, but at that price, with those buying criteria, it really hit the spot.