Pinot Gris has been a staple wine spanning roughly a millennium throughout Europe. Most likely originating in Burgundy region of France, its popularity spread over the continent like a field of wildflowers, and very soon Pinot vineyards could be seen as far north as Switzerland and southward to Italy (where it is known as "Pinot Grigio"). Italy's most popular white wine, the vineyards dominate the Lombardy and Alto Adige wine regions in the northeast of the country. Italian Pinots tend to be crisp and acidic due to the climate and terroir specific to these regions.
In the 1960s Pinot Gris vineyards began popping up in California and Oregon. Californian Pinots bore a strong resemblance to the Italian Grigio in taste and appearance, and many wineries starting labeling their wines with that name.
This week's wine is an example of such an Italian semblance. The Naked Grape Pinot Grigio ($9.00) is a light, easy drinking wine. It's straw in color, and the nose warm hints at pear, pineapple, and mineral. Crisp pears, melon, banana, bell peppers, sweet peppers, honey, and grass are detectable in the palate . It's light-bodied, acidic, and the finish is medium. The wine shines when paired with baked butternut squash, saffron rice, or even a piece of salmon.
This is a good introductory wine to the world of Pinot Grigio, both Italian and Californian. Try some and see if you like it; with such a low price you've got nothing to lose.