Some wine drinkers often associate pinot grigio with light, easy-to-drink whites that are uncomplicated and a bit fruity. But like most grapes, pinot grigio can be used to produce very different styles of wine depending on a variety of factors, including where the vineyards are located and the aim of the winemaker. For example, Romania and Slovenia, in eastern and central Europe, respectively, are home to some very interesting pinot grigio wines that might very well surprise you. The following are two examples.
Paparuda 2017 Pinot Grigio, Romania
Bought • Wine Merchant, 7817 Forsyth Boulevard, in January for $7.99
Description • This delightful pinot grigio comes from Cramele Recas, one of Romania’s largest wineries and producer of premium wines. An aromatic white with an inviting fresh and flowery nose, it has an unusually rich mouthfeel that makes it somewhat unique. It has a refreshing acidity and tastes of apples and pears with a touch of honey and citrus. This quaffable white can be enjoyed as an aperitif wine or with shellfish and other light fare.
Slavçek 2017 Sivi Pinot (Pinot Grigio), Vipavska Dolina, Slovenia
Bought • Global Foods, 421 North Kirkwood Road, in January for $12.59
Description • This intriguing orange wine comes from a family winery that has existed for more than two centuries. The exotic color comes from a traditional Slovenian winemaking method in which the pinot grigio juice is in contact with the grape skins for an extended period of time. Partially aged in oak barrels, it’s bigger in body and complexity than the Paparuda. This is a spicy wine with lots of character that would go well with pasta, fish and chicken dishes.