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.