Pinot Grigio for Giulio (and other wine gift ideas)


Being well aware that it is mid-December, I still choose to write about Pinot Grigio. As the temperatures dip – and they dropped deep in my vicinity – we reach for heartier foods that pair better with heavier wines, predominantly reds. Even if we really want a white, we would be likely looking for weightier ones. Oaked Chardonnay. Pinot Gris, at least. But, Pinot Grigio?

Truth be told, I was planning to write this in early November. It was unseasonably warm at the time. Then life happened. So here we are. Besides, maybe in trying to lighten the fare between the parties, you would be reaching for a light salad or fish based meal, and need a wine to match. Or, maybe in trying to find a gift for that person on your list who is hard to buy for, you are reading this blog in search of ideas?

Before we jump into gift ideas, let me first tell you about Giulio. A ball of positive energy dedicating himself to everything he does, be it his work, family, or organizing volunteer committees to provide input on one issue close to his heart or another. We first met over a taut conversation on the day we both moved in to our new neighbourhood. (To avoid any confusion, it was me who was taut — and sorry for it, soon enough.) Over time, and certainly thanks to Giulio’s generous nature, that story became a source of laughs.

Earlier this year, it was Giulio’s big(ish) birthday. An invitation came, reading “No gifts please – the walls are bulging here, but feel free to bring your funniest stories.”.   Story in hand, I set out to choose what to bring to the party, not as a present, but you know … A bottle of wine came to mind. But how to choose? I set out to find something a little bit different for a special day. And that is how I unearthed Tenute di Giulio Pinot Grigio.

For us in Ontario, we have it a bit easier with the centralized liquor sales through the LCBO, but you’ll find a way around it, wherever you are. Searching on the LCBO web site or their app makes it easy to find presents that match someone’s name. I’ve had a bottle of Josh (Cabernet Sauvignon) for example, and the choice for Maria is vast. Or a year of birth or anniversary, or if that gets too pricy, a year of birth of their children (or grandchildren:). Or for something they like, that may not be directly related to wine. For example a bottle of Almost Grounded, for someone who is into mindfulness or yoga, perhaps? You get the idea.

Looping back quickly to the Pinot Grigio itself, as I researched for writing this, it came as a surprise that the grape is not regarded so highly by most of the texts I consulted. Having said that, a particular bottle of Pinot Grigio is the top-selling white wine in the LCBO Vintages Essentials collection. And rightfully so.

Pinot Grigio, as known in Italy, and its brother Pinot Gris, hailing from Alsace in France, are closely related to their big brother Pinot Noir, but are made into a white wine. The grape itself, as the name suggests, is gray coloured, so the resulting wines may have a tinge of copper or pink, depending on how long the grape skins were left in contact with the extracted juice. Produced in a heavier style, as hinted above, Pinot Gris deserves a post of its own. Made light and crispy, Pinot Grigio delivers on fruitiness and delicate spice.

Tenute di Giulio Pinot Grigio poured bright yellow with a shade of copper. Pleasant floral aromas mingled with ripe peaches, yellow apple and pear. On the palette, a nice replay led with pear combined with ample acidity but lovely mouthfeel.

Giulio, as your gift recipients may be, was intrigued by the bottle bearing his name.

When I tried it at home in November, it paired superbly with a salad and oven baked tilapia, dusted with salt and pepper, drizzled with olive oil.




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