Friday, October 17, 2008

Diana Takes a Sip: Tamás Estates Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio (known as Pinot Gris when produced outside of Italy) was my go-to wine when I was first developing my wine palate in college. Whenever my girl friends and I went to a nicer restaurant and wanted to appear chic and sophisticated, we would all order glasses (or a bottle) of Pinot Grigio. It was an easy, safe choice -- a light-bodied, crisp and often sweet wine that was easy to drink (and easy to guzzle). (Plus, Kirsten Cohen always ordered it in on "the OC.")

Since leaving the North Shore of Chicago, my appreciation for wine has grown beyond the Pinot Gris/Grigio grape. I lust after bold, peppery reds like Barbera and Malbec, and regularly fill my glass with a full-bodied Petite Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon. My tastes in whites have changed as well, as I now prefer sipping grassy, citrus-toned New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs from the Marlborough region instead of the humble Pinot Grigio.

Despite my newly acquired wine snobbism, desperate economic times have had an undeniable impact upon the contents of my pink-stemmed Riedel glasses. Good wine is expensive, and the $10+ bottles that I prefer to keep stocked in my apartment are not doing any favors for the state of my starved bank account. It's presented quite the dilemma -- a girl cannot subsist on food alone! She needs love, she needs attention, she needs shoes, and --savings account be damned-- she needs her wine!

A few weekends ago, as I was heading toward the check-out counter at Gelson's Market, I noticed a display of Tamás Estates Pinot Grigio on sale for $7.99. I was planning on making Chicken Piccata for dinner that night, and knew that a Pinot Grigio always worked well in the dish. Remembering my parents sage advice to never cook with a wine that I wouldn't drink, I decided to try a bottle. Even if I didn't pour a single sip into my wine glass, at least I would have a week full of delicious wine-infused dishes.

I didn't try any of the wine that night. Nor did I try any the following night. But then, that Tuesday, after I spent an hour driving the 7.8 miles home from work, I was in desperate need of something to calm my unsteady nerves. Insert: Tamás Estates Pinot Grigio.

The light Italian wine with undertones of grapefruit and citrus was crisp and refreshing on my tongue, and enlivened my senses after the arduous drive on the 10 fwy. I was shocked at how much I liked it. I wasn't supposed to enjoy Pinot Grigios any more -- I'd grown up! I'd moved on! I was firmly devoted to my Sauvignon Blancs. Wasn't I?

Apparently not. The $7.99 Tamás Estates Pinot Grigio has become a staple in my cupboard since that day. The price is right, it works well for cooking and sipping, and is the perfect accompaniment to light meals.

Plus, it looks super chic in my pink-stemmed wine glasses.


Esi said...

I like to think I have a pretty sophisticated wine palette, but I am by no means an expert. I do love my pinot grigio though and in these tough economic times, a delicious bottle for $7.99 is a steal! The 10 is the worst freeway in the world!

Diana H. said...

I think I may be rekindling my relationship with PG -- I've had great luck with the Pinot Gris from Oregon -- that's been my recent "go-to" glass lately! Yum! The perfect antidote to all my freeway woes! :)

Futile Sniffer said...

It's 3pm and you make me want to open a bottle.

I will have to find this bottle soon.
Also, good choice on the pink stemmed Riedels!

Tokyoastrogirl said...


So I just found your blog via your comment on mine, and I have to say- you're awesome!!! I love your TJ's product reviews, funny commentary and photos of yummy food. The only bummer is that I didn't find it earlier.

I'm currently in lust with the TJs mango and cream popsicles, except that they have no sticks so you have to hold the popsicle in your warm hand, which isn't the greatest. It's very green of them but c''s like scooping honey into tea with your fingers. Just Doesn't Work.


Diana H. said...

A popsicle without a stick? That's craziness! I'd probably end up sticking the whole thing in a bowl and eating it with a spoon or something! And that completely defeats the purpose of purchasing said popsicle! Of course, orange + vanilla is very very good... it might be worth it!

Thanks for your kind words! I loved browsing through your blog yesterday afternoon -- I'm so impressed with your skills in the kitchen!


Alessandra said...

another delish yet inexpensive wine: wrong dongo, a spanish red that can be found at whole foods for approx 9 dollars.